20 acres of infield land, on which stand 23 structures (houses, barns, byres, sheds, etc) of the late 18th and 19th centuries. All of stone construction, their condition varies from totally ruinous to good order. Roofs are of thatch, corrugated iron or tarred felt. There are 2 modern buildings - a Colt house and a reception/display centre, both of which are of wooden construction.
Statement of Special Interest
Sited a short distance from the western shore of Loch Fyne and some 6 miles southwest of Inveraray, Auchindrain is a unique settlement of great antiquity. This type of small ferm-toun or clachan, a collection of dwellings and farm buildings, was not uncommon before the sweeping changes introduced by the Highland Clearances and Improvement fever in Lowland Scotland. During the 18th and 19th centuries farming traditions dating back thousands of years were lost or subsumed in an agrarian revolution as significant to rural landscapes as was the industrial revolution to urban development.
A rare survival, Auchindrain is '... of considerable interest as an example of a multiple-tenancy farm that remained in joint occupation until within comparatively recent years' (Dunbar). In fact, the last inhabitant retired from farming in 1963, since when Auchindrain has been carefully restored as a Museum of Farming Life. The original township covered approximately 4,000 acres and would have been typical of Fenton and Walker's description: 'Throughout the country, ..., farms were grouped in clusters, ferm-touns that stood with their arable, meadow and rough grazing patches within a dyke that kept the bulk of the stock out on the hill or moorland grazing during the summer' (p44). The area is greatly reduced but what remains is much as it would have been in the 18th century.
The building types within the township are both interesting and varied, with evidence of significant vernacular variation in piended thatch roofs incorporating both gable-end and side crucks, and open frame clamp-type byre stalls. More typical are the drystone 'long-houses', incorporating both dwelling and byre, and shieling huts.
Upgraded category B to A March 1995. List description revised 2007.