Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Friday, 28 May 2010

The Inn at An-t-Ob

I can only find two records for this establishment. The Inn can be seen on the 1st Edition Six-Inch Map of 1886, which is interesting given that the latest record in the censuses is from 25 years earlier. The location on that map can easily be identified on the current 1:25000 series – it is under the 15m Spot-Height just below 'Kintulavig' at NG012873. (Please see below*)

1851
Malcolm Macdonald, 66, Merchant and Innkeeper, b. Harris
Margaret Macdonald, 57, Wife, b. Glasgow
Roderick Macdonald, 25, Son, b. Harris
Duncan(?) Macdonald, 18, Daughter, b. Harris

Isabella Campbell, 7, Granddaughter, b. Portree

Alexander Macdonald, 25, Servant, b. Harris
Johanna Ferguson, 16, Servant, b. Harris
Johanna Campbell, 18, Servant, b. Harris
Mary Maclennon, 20, Servant, b. Harris

John McRaitt, 20, Visitor, b. Burrwith, Inverness-shire

1861
Malcolm Macdonald, 70, Inn Keeper, b. Harris
Margaret Macdonald, 68, Wife, b. Glasgow
Margaret Macdonald, 38, Policeman's Wife, Daughter, b. Harris
Roderick Macdonald, 35, Merchant, Son, b. Harris

Isobel Campbell, 17, Domestic Servant, G Daughter, b. Harris
Duncan Campbell, 10, Scholar, Grandson, b. Portree
Margaret Campbell, 8, Scholar, Grandson, b. Portree

John Shaw, 21, Ag Lab, Servant, b. Harris
Kenneth Martin, 23, Ag Lab, Servant, b. Harris
Christina Munro, 25, General Servant, b. Harris

I have found a Margaret Campbell in Portree in 1851, with a 1 year-old son called Duncan, who's husband Peter is an Inspector of Police. This appears to be a reasonable match with the Macdonald's daughter and her three children.

The Inn's location would have meant that anyone alighting from the Sound of Harris ferry at Kyles Lodge (which was the home of Sheep Farmer Alexander MacRae from 1820-1874) would have joined the 'road' by the Inn. That explains why it was built in what today appears to be rather an unlikely spot for a hostelry.
*The Sound of Harris Chart produced by Captain Otter in 1859 places the Inn much further into An-t-Ob at the foot of the road to Rodel. I think that this was the location of the Macdonald's Inn and that the much later OS Map is displaying an altogether different establishment.

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