Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Attadale: its legacy and link to the Carribean

A pleasant wander up the tranquil glen of Attadale. Looking back, the picturesque village of Lochcarron, gracefully adorning the distant shore of its eponymous loch. And there, in the far-off horizon, proudly stand the daunting Applecross mountains.

Attadale, what a peaceful valley it is! Recently though, it has witnessed the timber harvesters’ diligent efforts, clearing the way for rewilding, perhaps. The stalkers’ track has undergone quite a transformation too, perhaps to facilitate access to a splendid wind farm.

Once upon a time, this estate belonged to the esteemed Alexander McBarnet, a man of considerable holdings in Torridon and even plantations in St Vincent of the Caribbean. He departed this mortal coil in 1839. In his will, he bemoaned the decline in value of his St Vincent property, “because of the recent entire emancipation of the coloured population.” Parliament had, six years earlier, abolished slavery in the British Caribbean, granting him a handsome compensation of £11,531. In today’s currency, that amounts to a staggering £1.75 million.

During the Napier Commission of 1883, representatives of the tenantry did not hold back their disdainful remarks about McBarnet’s Scottish estates, both at Attadale and Torridon1Legacies of British Slavery, Ucl.ac.uk Year. 2016 URL: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/10384.







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