Croick merits at least a small mention in the history books.
It is a fertile strath which has almost certainly been continuously inhabited since the end of the last ice age. It is the site of the remains of an Iron Age Broch, dating from somewhere around the first centuries BC and/or AD, and indicating that someone of distinction saw it as a good place to put down roots. More information can be found here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broch).
When the Vikings invaded and colonised the north of what is now Scotland we can be certain they too were present. The name Glen Alladale, running almost parallel to Croick is name of viking derivation and good evidence that they lived in those parts.
In those days there would still have been a great deal of native woodland in the area. Indeed, the name Glaschoil, one of the early settlements in the strath means Big Wood and there are records from the seventeenth century of wood from around Croick being exported for the, then, English Navy.
Croick at the time was of course home to a large number of settlements up and down the strath. These can be seen clearly on Roy’s Military Map of 1747-55, which his available online from the National Library of Scotland (see http://maps.nls.uk/roy).
Croick is also the location of Croick Church, built in 1827 as one of a number of Parliamentary Churches paid for by the Westminster Government to thank the Highlands for their contribution to the Napoleonic Wars. Sadly, a few years later the church came to merit a mention in the unhappy story of the Highland Clearances (see http://croickchurch.com for more details).
All this time, Croick was held as part of the lands of the Ross’s of Balnagowan and indeed it remained Ross lands until the 1960’s when large tracts of land in Strath Carron and Strath Oykel were sold. By then it was known as Forest Farm and was part of a significant sheep farming enterprise. It took its current shape only in the 1980s when it was sold again and the first steps towards habitat restoration were taken with the start of an ambitious native caledonian planting scheme.
This history is only partial and incomplete. If you would like to add depth and colour to this picture, please let us know.
Hello 🙂 this is my favourite part of Scotland. I’ve paid a visit twice stayed in Kate’s cottage and had a great blether with a man who lived at Amatnatua Willie MacDonald. Sadly no longer with us. One of these days i will return to this place I call heaven In Scotland 🙂
I too visited Willie when I was minister of the parish from 1996-2003.
I recall the Moffats (Kate) when they stayed at Croick Farmhouse – also ‘Curlew’ – a local worthy who had been a shepherd in Glenprosen, in my native Angus, back in the 1950s – he was a great player of the ‘spoons!’ (He was an immediate neighbour of Willie.)
These folks, and many others in the strath I got to know over the years – not least the dear Blairs who ‘summered’ in Ardgay and had a particular fondness and knowledge of Croick Church of which they were very fond – they now lie together in the graveyard and I visit that wonderful place each firstname.lastname@example.org