People all over the world have Coigach roots and connections.
Nearly 2000 lived here in the 19th century but depopulation set in as a result of land ‘Clearances’, economic hardships, the impact of world wars and the lure of opportunities elsewhere.
Until the 1930s there were five schools ( Achiltibuie, Altandhu, Achduart, Inverpolly and Tanera) and a police station until 1957. Travelling vans brought groceries and all manner of supplies.
Everyone spoke Gaelic with its rich oral tradition and music.
The name Achiltibuie ( Achd Ille Bhuidhe) means field of the yellow haired boy. Coigach (A’ Chòigeach’), meaning the five fields, is derived from the ancient tradition of dividing land into fifths. The five ‘fields’ being Achduart, Achnacarinan, Acheninver, Achnahaird and Achiltibuie.
The Church was important in community life and before the local Free Church was built people worshipped at an open-air preaching place. This was one of several set up in the north west Highlands following the Disruption of 1843, when the Church of Scotland split over the rights of parishioners – rather than landowners – to choose their ministers.
In 1893 the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland was formed as a break away from the Free Church. There were services in Achiltibuie until the 1960s and the church building was demolished in 1998.