Hidden in Plain Sight

Balblair is a lost township. Tucked away in the trees, just a stone’s throw from the road between Ullapool and Inverness at Inverlael, centuries of history lie buried and forgotten. In this series of drama-documentaries with the help of Ullapool Museum, archaeologists and historical experts we’re bringing the people and stories of Balblair and Inverlael back to life. 8 snapshots, re-imagined moments in Scotland’s Highland history which have, until recently, been HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT.

The creative partnership behind Adventurous Audio is Pennie Latin Stuart and Dan Holland. We worked together as a team at the BBC for years—45 between us—producing an insane range of content, covering every conceivable topic from comedy to hard-hitting documentaries, food, the arts, science, music, sport and outside broadcasts, for just about every audio corner of the BBC – BBC Sounds and BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 4, Radio 3 and Radio 2. Because we’ve worked so effectively together for so many years, we know that two heads are better than one, so when you work with Adventurous Audio you get to work with both of us. We both have individual strengths and bring different experience to the party—we think that’s a really important part of what makes working with Adventurous Audio quite unique.

In a nutshell, we take you through the entire creative process, from idea to ear, and produce a professional, highly-crafted podcast for the audience you want to hear it. 


Episode 1: We meet Lady Alice Fowler, wife of Sir John Arthur Fowler, son of the famous engineer Sir John Fowler 1st Baronet of Braemore. Lady Fowler talks us through the discovery and excavation of the oldest settlement at Inverlael. Expert: Lynne McKeggie (Highland Archaeological Services)

Episode 2: Brings the sheilings of Inverlael alive as we follow a love sick young women pining for her Johnny! We hear about the importance of the summer grazing and its impact on the community. Expert: Dr Elizabeth Ritchie (UHI)

Episode 3: The fighting between the Mackenzie’s of Kintail and the Munro’s of Foulis reaches an all time high as we pick up the quarrel in the court at Narin in 1574. The period nicknamed, Linn nan Creach sees all out warfare between clans as they struggle to maintain power in the Highlands. Expert Aonghas Mac Coinnich (University of Glasgow)

Episode 4: We find a 14 year old Anna Fraser contemplating her future on the morning of her wedding in 1590. Struggling with the fact that she is to be used as a political pawn to unite two families, regardless of her future husbands recent trip to the dock in Edinburgh on witchcraft charges. Expert: Lousia

Episode 5: We meet Reverend Thomas Ross in a moment of internal conflict attempting to come to come to terms with his conscience over his involvement in the eviction and treatment of his parish. Expert: Cathy Dagg & Peter Newling

Episode 6: We are introduced to Geillis, who is having a whale of a time testing the new batch of whisky that the illicit still is producing. Expert: Dr Darroch Bratt

Episode 7: Sir George Stewart MacKenzie 7th Baronet of Coul is formally introduced to our story. As the land owner of Inverlael, Balblair and Ardcharnnich he has a lot of hard decisions to make.

Episode 8: The year is 1819 and we are witnessing the first round of evictions from Inverlael where 50 families are evicted from the land they and their ancestors have tended for centuries.