Finding Strand: Croft, Smerclett

Croft, Smerclett (page 61)

The croft in Paul Strand’s image had a turf roof which today will be missing or replaced with tiles or thatch, and the building is shown against a virtually bare, low skyline. So, apart from any possible clue given by what looks to be a stone enclosure to the left, successful identification of the exact shooting location in the scattered hamlet of Smerclett (Smercleit) was always likely to be a matter of luck.

 Croft, Smerclett. Paul Strand, 1962

Croft, Smerclett. Paul Strand, 1962

Luck wasn’t on my side, for despite checking the arrangement of stones in a number of crofts both intact and ruinous as I passed through the village on several days, I couldn’t find anything that matched.

On the ground, a roofless croft lies in a field close to the beach, a couple of hundred meters north of the location of 'Reefs, Smerclett' (page 15) so I chose this as a substitute - it is at grid reference 748156.

 Ruined croft, Smercleit. Mark Farrington 2016.

Ruined croft, Smercleit. Mark Farrington 2016.

I could see no nearby trace of the enclosure against the croft and, when I compared the detailed arrangement of the stones in the image with those on the gable ends of the current ruin, they do not match. There are quite a few ruined crofts in this area and I didn't have time to scrutinise more, so this near miss is currently the best I can offer.

Ruined croft window, Smercleit. Mark Farrington, 2016.

 

Finding Strand: Cattle sale, Loch Ollay

After Strand: Lobster crails