The Moine is a vast area of heather moor and peat moss which from ancient times has been a deterrent to transport and trade .

Travelling from Loch Eriboll, one had to cross 14 miles of this morass, then make the choice of risking life on the ferry across the Kyle, or slogging another 9 miles overland via Kinloch to reach Tongue Village..

The first good road across The Moine was built in 1830, and Moine House was erected as a half-way stop. The grand name leads one to expect a mansion house! It is a surprise to see an ordinary, good-sized cottage, which had two rooms downstairs, plus a loft. There is a box-like porch at the front, perhaps added later. Moine House was built facing south, on the edge of the old road. Nowadays the modern road skirts the house on the north side.. Map.

The house has lain empty for many years although it still had a roof in 1987. More recently some conservation work has been done to preserve the shell of the building.

The east gable carries an enormous carved plaque extolling the new road and the people who created it. The wording is virtually illegible now; I copied the text from a guidebook.

In 1881 the house was occupied by GEORGE MACKAY, a forester aged 80, an unmarried daughter, a married son and his wife, and five grandchildren!  Crowded by our standards - but no doubt they would make weary travellers welcome.

George's grand-daughter, CHRISTINA MACKAY, was 3 years old in 1881. She may have been the last occupant, before spending her latter years in Scullomie. At any rate, people in Scullomie remember "Kirsty na Moine" as a kindly, generous person, a staunch churchgoer who had "wonderful hands" with patchwork and baking. (family connection not yet verified.)

If you know more about the family who lived at Moine House, or would like an original digital photograph, please contact me.

Moine House east gable and back
View from front door of Moine House