Lochbroom Archaeology - Lost Inverlael

The community of Inverlael, near Ullapool, had at one time consisted of more than fifty families. However, in the winter of 1819, the inhabitants were evicted by the landowner, George Steuart Mackenzie of Coul, in order that sheep farms might replace their lands.

Some families moved to larger towns in the Highlands, while others made the decision to emigrate. The foundations of their homes remain as ruins among trees of what is now Inverlael forest.

The history of that township is to be rediscovered through a two-year community archaeology project entitled Lost Inverlael: Finding Balblair. Through the endeavours of Ullapool Museum. a grant of £68,000 has been awarded by Historic Environment Scotland along with funding from Forestry and Land Scotland.

Inverlael’s history will be investigated through community digs, archive research, genealogy workshops, activity days and interactive tours.

In addition to the archaeology programme, there will be a research project concerning ancestors who lived in Inverlael and Balblair and the stories of their lives through their descendants.

Anyone reading this information who can help with the project should contact Ullapool Museum. Click on the link image or title in the box below:

Link to Evanton Oral History Project

The museum is housed in the Category A listed Thomas Telford church built in 1829. As well as displays of the social history of Lochbroom of crofting, fishing and the klondykers, the museum offers a Genealogy Research Service

Statistical Accounts

On the 25 May 1790, Sir John Sinclair, Baronet of Ulbster in Caithness wrote to over nine hundred Parish ministers throughout Scotland asking them to contribute to a Statistical Inquiry by answering as best they could,a series of one hundred and sixty-six Queries respecting each Parish.

The New (or Second) Statistical Account of Scotland built on the previous work carried out by Sir John Sinclair for the First Statistical Accounts by including the knowledge of local doctors and schoolmasters. The Second Statistical Accounts were published between 1834 and 1845.