Turnalt Farm Web Site
Turnalt Farm consists of some 3500 acres. 100 acres of this is good
level arable land which forms the bottom of a 'U' shaped Glen.
As well as the arable land which lies at 100 feet above
sea level, there are 5 hills, the highest of which is 'Turnalt'
which rises to 1200 feet. The other hills are Lagandarroch, Arichuan,
Clachaig and Grianaig. Duchra is a further hill which is ground that
is rented from the forestry commission.
Each of the hills are grazed by a hirsel (flock)
of Blackface ewes.
The arable land comprises of grazing ground, Silage and Hay.
Turnalt Farm trades under the name John MacNicol and Sons. In the
early 20th century John MacNicol (1871-1954) was the manager of
Barbreck estate, which included Turnalt Farm. He subsequently bought
and ran Turnalt Farm and when he died in 1954 left it to his two sons,
John and James and his daughter Isabel. Three of the sons of James MacNicol, Alasdair, Iain and Hamish, inherited the farm and now, Alasdair, Hamish and Anne, the wife of Iain who died in 2018, currently own and run the farm.
The Sheep Stock
The Blackface flock are distributed as follows:
At tupping time the 6 hirsels need around 40 Tups (Rams) between
|HILL||SHEEP (Approx No.s)
Around 350 of the ewe lambs are retained for breeding and the
remainder are sold as store lambs at Oban Market. Some of the tup
lambs off the best of the ewes are also retained for breeding.
There are about 60 cows on the farm and they calve from about
January through to the late spring. The cows are Cross Highlander or
Blue Grey breeds, there are also 2 Limousin bulls on the farm.
In the summer about half of the herd graze on the hills with their
The Cattle Stock
Originally half the cattle were wintered out on the hills and the
other half on the low ground with access to a shed but since new
sheds have been built all cattle are now wintered on the low ground
with access to sheds.
© Iain MacNicol