Mull Combination, Argyllshire
Mull Combination was formed in 1860 and comprised the 7 parishes of Ardnamurchan, Coll, Kilfinichen, Kilninian and Kilmore, Morvern, Torosay and Tyree. They were later joined by the parish of Arisaig etc. The total population of the member parishes in 1881 was 13,933.
Mull Combination Poorhouse, or "Tigh na Bochdh" as it was known in Gaelic, was erected in 1861-62 on a five-acre site to the west of Tobermory. Designed by David Cousin, its construction cost £7,700 and it could accommodate 130 inmates. Its location and layout are shown on the 1899 map below.
The entrance stood at the south of the site with a two-storey porter's house at its side.
The two-storey main building was a typical T-shaped structure of the period with male and female wings to each side. At the centre were offices, store-rooms and kitchens, with a dining hall in the central rear wing. The dining hall also served as a chapel and had a pulpit. A weekly service was held in Gaelic.
The poorhouse closed in 1923 and the half-dozen remaining inmates transferred to the poorhouse at Oban. The site was sold off and the building renamed "Newside". In the winter of 1973-4 the derelict main building was demolished and the stone was used in the construction of the distillery jetty at Ledaig in Tobermory. Only the porter's house and site walls still survive.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Argyll and Bute Council Archives, Manse Brae, Lochgilphead PA31 8QU, Scotland. Holdings include: Poorhouse Committee minute books (1860-1925); Miscellaneous papers (1862-1890).
- Mull Museum, Columba Buildings, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Argyll PA75 6NU. Holdings include: Poor House Committee minutes (May 1870-Nov 1874); Various letters, accounts etc.
- PA MacNab Mull and Iona (1970)
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