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Villages 'lost' during Highland Clearances to be uncovered

Archaeologists plan to uncover the townships of Inverigan, Achnacon and Achtriochtan in Glencoe.

The Glencoe excavation needs to raise £300,000.
The Glencoe excavation needs to raise £300,000. SWNS

Three villages 'lost' from Glencoe during the Highland Clearances are to be uncovered by archaeologists.

Inverigan, Achnacon and Achtriochtan were left "forgotten" after thousands of people were forcibly evicted from their homes in the 18th and 19th centuries by landlords who wanted to create large farms.

The National Trust for Scotland plans to uncover the settlements - now covered by grass, scree and heather - in a bid to learn more about the period leading up to the clearances.

It hopes to raise £300,000 to allow archaeologists to carry out the work and build a replica of a traditional turf house.

"Never before has this type of work been carried out at Glencoe," said historian Neil Oliver, president of the National Trust for Scotland.

"We now need to raise £300,000 to bring this project to life.

"This will support our archaeological work and enable us to recreate two turf houses, using traditional methods and materials wherever possible."

The NTS hopes the excavation will provide fresh insight into the massacre of February 1692 when 38 men, women and children of the MacDonald clan were slaughtered by two companies of soldiers they had welcomed into their homes.

It follows the £1m refurbishment of the Glencoe Visitor Centre in May, which includes a new film screening area, exhibition space, café and information hub with 3D features.

Simon Skinner, chief executive of the NTS, said: "It has been an exciting year for Glencoe, one of the most significant and spectacular treasures cared for by the National Trust for Scotland and which is known the world over for its outstanding beauty."

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