Village of Plockton
We are not sure right now where this one came from.
An example of a west coast planned village begun by the Earl of Seaforth, whose factor wrote in 1794 of the necessity ‘to lay out the villages of Ploc and Dornie’. Four years later the estate was put for sale and eventually bought by Sir Hugh Innes . . .
In particulars prepared with a view to the sale, Plock is described as being occupied ‘as a village and fast improving in its value and the number of its inhabitants and several good houses built and others building.’
Here, as in other west coast settlements like Ullapool, tenants were expected to combine the care of crofts with small-scale fishing.
Sir Hugh Innes encouraged the new village. An advertisement in the Inverness Journal for 16 September 1808 offered feus and 99-year leases in the burgh of Plockton (now a burgh of barony, with town added to its name): ‘It presents an eligible situation for a fishing station, or any branch of manufacture which requires a number of hands . . . The proprietor is much disposed to give every facility to any undertaking which would yield employment to the rising population.’
A plan of 1801 shows provision for another street of houses running behind Harbour and Bank Street, but these were never to be built. Nevertheless, by 1841 there are said to be 537 residents.
Plockton has a unique situation for a west coast settlement. Set on the east side of a great headland sticking out into Loch Carron, it is protected from the sea gales and looks onto a safe anchorage where small creeks and islets diversify the coastline.
Apart from what may be an old fish-house on the shore, the buildings are domestic. The early houses built in a continuous line along Harbour Street are largely early 19th century with a few later 19th century houses among them, and vary from single-story cottages to two-storey and attic houses, some stone and some harled.
Bank Street is a long row of symmetrical, sinle-storey and attic mid-19th century cottages, individuality being expressed in paintwork colours and the various carved bargeboards to the dormer windows.
On the small headland projecting from Harbour Street is a rare survival of a ‘traditional’ West Highland cottage, with low walls of whitewashed rubble, a later chimney at one end, one tiny window either side of the door and a heather-thatched roof.
In Innes Street at the south end of the village is a parliamentary church of 1827–28, harled with ashlar margins; it retains the original pulpit and sloping galleries, being one of the eight parliamentary original churches in which galleries were built. Opposite is the single-storey manse, no. 81, now a private house.
Just down the road is the Free Church of 1845, now made into flats, while nos. 4 and 5 Innes Street, a pair of mid-19th century two-story houses, were the Free Church Manse and the old Schoolhouse. the Primary School at no 82 was built in 1889.