The children of Glenann primary school studied Knockban clachan in Glenann. The children arranged an interview with Mr Willie McAuley, who owns the land around Knockban.
Can you remember the names of anybody who used to live in Knockban and if possible when?
There were two families called McLoughlins and McCambridges. Among the McLaughlins were Daniel and Isobel who owned what was known locally as ‘Isobel’s meadow.’ Another man who lived there was John McCambridge.
What would have been the main type of farming in the clachan?
The main types were the growing of corn (oats) and potatoes. There were not many animals because the farms were too small. They maybe had two cows maximum and possibly a pig. They also kept hens and ducks for eggs. Goats were kept for their milk and because they could survive on poor ground. Very few sheep were kept because they ate too much grass.
What types of games were played in the area at the time?
The main game played was ‘shinty’ which is similar to hurling. Locals called it ‘shinny.’ It was also played in Scotland. I remember my father telling me he saw fourteen men all over six foot tall leaving Knockban to walk down to the beach at Legg Green on New Year’s Day to play a shinny match. Another popular game was pitching horseshoes.
This old road from Knockban crosses the braes of Glencorp and Glendun
There is a story that Knockban became deserted almost overnight. Is there any truth in this story?
I don’t think so. It probably happened over a period of time.
Why do you think the clachan became deserted?
There are likely various reasons for this; infertile soil, land unsuitable for animals and not enough profit to be made from farming. The farms were too small to sustain a living. The average farm was 8-10acres of which only half was of decent land.
People often had to move away to find work. The construction of the new main road between Cushendall and Ballycastle isolated Knockban.
Gorse bushes in bloom among the wallsteads of Knockban