Kelp burning or grain drying kilns of circular construction are numerous on Luing and surrounding Islands although there are examples of rectangular kilns. From ancient times man has been aware of the benefits of applying seaweed to his soil.In the 18th century there was a demand from the industry for the various extracts obtained by burning various seaweeds and the alkaline salts obtained by bleaching these ashes, were formerly much used in England for making soap and glass.
Kelp burning’s death knell was sounded in the early 1800s when the discovery of mineral deposits in Germany crippled the industry and it went into decline. The crofters would work from early June to the end of August at kelp burning
Pictures are of some of the sites of kelp burning,
these are numerous on Luing and surrounding Islands
Tobar-na-suil (the well of the eye) is situated south of Ardinamir (NM 755 119) and is midway between the two forts (NM71SE1 and 2). It is a mere hollow in a stone into which there is no opening. Local tradition has it as never being dry and the water is said to be effective in curing eye diseases. When Macadam (1896) visited it, he cleared out the water and the cavity was still dry after several hours. The water, on analysis proved similar to other surface waters of the locality and had no curative power. The hollow in the stone has the appearance of an eyeball and the name may have derived from this and the idea of its supposed curative properties may have followed.
(NM 7533 1149) Tobar-na-suil (NAT)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)
W I Macadam 1896.
Remains of a hay Rick yard can still be seen south of Ardinamir.
This area was detached from the regular grazing.
The bottom picture shows partial view of the Rick yard.
This yard contained eight stands for Ricks. They were a circle of dry stone which gave elevation to the Ricks and kept them from the wet ground during the winter period and prevented the rotting of hay.
Above is what is believed to be a Flax steeping pool at Ardinamir. It is approximately 12 feet by 20 feet, it would originally have been dry stone lined but there is only partial walling left.
It may have been used in conjunction with the weaving industry at Balure.
Flax is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world, grown as early as 7000 BC. It is grown for its seed and fibre. Flax grows best in cool climates, Russia and Canada being two of the leading growers in the world. It is planted after the danger of frost has past, and is harvested at different stages, depending on whether it is being grown for the seed or fibre.