To me, compiling all the information that I’ve gathered is the hardest part. Where do you start? What information do you add in, and what do you leave out? These are questions that we all ask ourselves at some point.
This report was particularly tough to write, as there was little background information that I could incorporate. With information in several secondary sources, and a handful of old newspaper articles, the report strongly relies on the links and contradictions between the sources.
In order to fit into the word limit of my directed study, I had to focus on certain elements. In particular, I felt that it was important to discuss Angus MacLaine in relation to the house. MacLaine was not only the man who built the house in 1843, but he also quickly became a prominent part of the community. Establishing Ardtornish School through a government grant, and donating a portion of his own land, MacLaine was viewed as a philanthropist. By discussing his standing in the community, the report enables the reader to see how wealthier people lived in the Modbury area in the 1840s.
In addition, the archaeological assessment was interesting in itself with the appearance of copper strips in the walls.
Copper strips (green lines) evident in the walls of the ground floor or the house.
As seen above, the copper strips are quite evident in the walls. When discussing this with the owner, he suggested that it was an old wive’s tales to do with salt damp prevention. It is an interesting discovery that still has me wondering how many, if any, other houses incorporated this into their building design.