Comparing the descriptions of the house at Reachfar in the books with photos of the real Colony buildings, I've come to the conclusion that Reachfar must have been a bit like Dr Who's Tardis inside! In the early books, the house contains: Janet, her parents, her grandparents, George, Tom and at least one Aunt. That's eight people. Janet had her own bedroom (I think), so it can't be that everyone is sleeping in one room or anything. The impression is of a comfortable, cosy home, not an overcrowded bothy. And there's still room for visitors to stay!
Yet when you look at present-day pictures of the real Colony, (sadly ruined and abandoned) it just appears to be a small, one-storey building with a couple of low barns attached. It doesn't look as though there can be more than two or three rooms. (I'm sure there are photos of it online but of course I now can't find one to insert a link...) So did JD simply enlarge the house in her fiction? Admittedly, she enlarged the number of inhabitants somewhat, as neither she nor her parents lived there permanently. Perhaps not all of those adults were there at the same time. But, to me, the appearance of the real Colony buildings doesn't seem to totally chime with JD's Reachfar.
Is it possible that an upper storey was removed and the corrugated iron roof put on since the Camerons left? Or was there another building or wing that has disappeared altogether? Or is it just that a forlorn, abandoned house always seems to look as though it could never have been a home?
Does anyone know if any photos exist of the house as it was when the family lived there?
I recently bought "Janet Reachfar and the Kelpie" and the pictures of the house in Mairi Hedderwick's lovely illustrations seem far more like the fictional Reachfar.
Incidentally, I can highly recommend the two booklets on Jane Duncan and on Jemimaville, which still seem to be available from the Kirkmichael Trust http://www.kirkmichael.info/Shop/shopfront.html