Croggies, Querns & Cromans ... Bickers, Quaiches & Cruisies

romhc Sunday, 31 May 2020

These are the names of tools and utensils which were in common use in the Highlands and Islands a century and more ago. Some, or similar items, would have been found in farming communities in many parts of Europe. Others are specific to the Highlands, like peat-cutting tools. 

The posters (shown above and below) from the Historical Centre, featuring accurate drawings of items from the Highland Folk Museum, make the point that they are all related to a subsistence economy, used to produce fabrics for local people to wear, or food or fuel for families. People in the past had a more sustainable life-style.

During the Coronavirus crisis, the value of producing our own food locally has become very evident. This spring, the idea of a plant swap was floated by Judy Gibson, a Trustee of the Historical Centre as well as a member of the Ross of Mull and Iona Organic Gardening Group (RoMIOG). With a great deal of hard work beforehand, and careful organisation on the day, the empty Columba car park in Fionnphort was transformed in mid-May, with safe social distancing, for what Judy described as "the biggest social gathering on the Ross since the lockdown started". Hundreds of pots of vegetable seedlings were donated and many local folk took them away to be grown on. There were also 42 animal feed tubs planted up with herbs and salad plants by the Erraid Community – see photos below. Self-sufficiency is very relevant just now, although gardeners have to manage without some of the implements featured in our posters!

Meanwhile at the Historical Centre we’ve just a few of the posters left for sale (dimensions - 63 × 81 cm or 24.75 × 32 in). There are three different ones:

  1. Croggies, Querns & Cromans (the first image above);
  2. Bickers, Quaiches & Cruisies (the second image above); and
  3. A fascinating drawing of a Highland Township - Badenoch c1730 (image below).

Single posters or combinations of the three can be posted to you in cardboard tubes.

Single poster - £5
Two posters - £8
Three posters - £12

Prices exclude postage.

If you would like to purchase the poster(s), please email and provide us with your postal address. We will then advise you of the postage costs and provide a link for payment via PayPal.

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The Ross of Mull is an extraordinary microcosm of all that draws visitors to the Hebridean Islands. The scenery, as you travel along the single-track road from the ferry at Craignure is breath-taking. You experience in the many walks in the area a true sense of wilderness; the secret bays with their beaches of silvery sand, the abundance of wildlife and the innumerable marks on the landscape of the lives of past generations and communities long gone. The Ross of Mull is a compelling place for anyone fascinated by history and the ancient way of life of the Gaelic people.

Contact Us

Ross of Mull Historical Centre
Millbrae Cottage
Isle of Mull
Argyll PA67 6DG

By Phone: 01681 700659
By Email:

Opening Times

Closing Thursday 19th October 2023

Weekdays 10am - 1pm

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