The National Trust for Scotland has been excavating a site in Glencoe
The National Trust for Scotland has been excavating a site in Glencoe

Lifting the turf on Glencoe’s secret buried history

National Trust for Scotland archaeologists will share their discoveries from recent excavations and surveys in Glencoe in early August.

They will also discuss exciting plans to bring the findings to life at a special talk on Thursday 8 August, 6.30pm, at Glencoe Visitor Centre.

Derek Alexander, the conservation charity’s Head of Archaeology, has led digs which have helped uncover more information about where and how people lived in the glen before the era of Highland Clearances transformed life and the landscape here.

In this evening talk, Derek will explain what he and his team of volunteers have learnt so far during their excavations and investigations into this fascinating period in the area’s history.

Their growing understanding is shaping plans to reconstruct a 17th – 18th century turf-built, thatched dwelling at the recently-revamped Glencoe Visitor Centre. The reconstruction will be based on evidence recovered from the archaeological remains of a house at Achtriochtan, on the lower slopes of the Aonach Eagach, in the heart of the glen. This 13 by six metre building had walls made from turf banks between one and two metres thick.

Emily Bryce, operations manager for Glencoe said: ‘August’s talk will be a great chance for anyone curious about what life in Glencoe might have been like around 300 years ago to find out more, directly from one of Scotland’s most experienced archaeologists, who has been studying the landscape here for many years.

The National Trust for Scotland has been excavating a site in Glencoe

‘We are at the early stage of a project in which we would like to work with volunteers, visitors, community groups, schools and local history experts, to bring to life an era which many of our visitors ask about when they come here.

‘At the time of the Glencoe Massacre in 1692, it is likely that several hundred people made their homes in the harsh environment of the glen and it can be difficult to imagine how they lived. We want to give people a taste of their story at our visitor centre before sign-posting the nearby Glencoe Folk Museum and Fort William’s West Highland Museum where people can delve deeper into this past and see a rich collection of artefacts.’

Proceeds from the talk will go towards the conservation charity’s current appeal raising funds to support further Glencoe archaeological work and the turf-house reconstruction.

To book a place at the talk, visit:

To donate towards the fundraising campaign today, visit: