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The Shieling

History of The Shieling

This building is described as ‘clad in vertical half-round poles dark stained and with a slated and piended roof over’ (Murray 1985). A semi-circular building is present on the OS 2nd edition map (1906). In a photograph by Mr Wellwood Maxwell, c. 1900, in the possession of Mrs M. Spark, the sign above the door reads ‘Castle Leod Well and [in much larger letters] Lady Cromartie’s Well’. On the OS 1st edition map (1876), this area is depicted as garden ground, apparently associated with Clisham (MHG22692). Though there are wells in the vicinity on the 1876 map (one at the south east corner of the plot belonging to the Strathpeffer Hotel, with another close to where the boundary between Craigvar (then Park House, MHG16224) and Mackay’s Hotel (MHG22732) meets the road, on the 1906 map a well is marked under The Shieling. At some time after 1906, The Shieling became a shop - and also housed a lending library. In Miss Sarah McKeon’s time, from the 1920s-1940s, it sold good quality fancy goods; Miss McKeon was Irish and a staunch Roman Catholic, hence the Gaelic name, Tigh Mile Annas (‘house of the hundred thousand welcomes’). Much of the fancy work, such as lace, which Miss McKeon sold, was made in convents. She lived for a period in part of the bungalow in the grounds of Holly Lodge (MHG16410) while the Finlaysons were there, and latterly in rooms or room at Hope’s Hotel. Mrs Littlejohn, who followed Miss McKeon, sold tweeds and other woolen goods. Mrs Littlejohn was followed by Mrs Cherrett.
This building should not be confused with the now-destroyed Shieling at NH 48496 58395