Finding out about a lost Deeside village

The ruins of Loinmuie
The ruins of Loinmuie

A small project by children of Ballater Library’s craft clubs has blossomed into a major celebration of history and heritage.

It links a ruined Deeside village of nearly 200 years ago with the seventh, eighth and ninth generation descendants of today.

Loinmuie descendants Frances Johnstone, left, and Elma Walker

Loinmuie descendants Frances Johnstone, left, and Elma Walker

Loinmuie, in Glenmuick, was a bustling township of 10 families for two centuries, before falling into decline in the 1840s.

Four of the little houses were still occupied in 1841 and - under the guidance of librarian Sabine Muir - the Ballater children recreated the mixed village of homes and ruins from clay, wool and papier machie, complete with peat stacks, ancient chapel, well and run rigs.

Sabine said: “We wanted to commemorate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

“The children love using clay and papier-mache so I thought it would be a good idea to create some old-fashioned longhouses and ruins.

“The project became much more interesting as we all learnt a lot about Loinmuie.”

Storyteller Joan Anderson helped the youngsters find out who lived in the houses in 1841 and the project has become part of the Scottish Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

A follow-up has so far identified nearly 300 living descendants of the Riachs (mostly), Stewarts, Lauchlans, Dowies, Tastards and MacAndrews who once farmed and raised large families at Loinmuie.

The Lost Village, Now Found is displayed in the library in Station Square, along with a linked project on Standing Stones, also part of SYHHA.

The work of the children, descendants and researchers is available during Ballater library opening times, along with a special signing book for descendants and anyone interested in the Lost Village.

All of the signed pages - and some of the children’s work - will be available online by mid-August.