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

Monday, 20 September 2010

Port Eisgein

This small inlet in the Sound of Harris resembles the head of a pterodactyl swooping towards Borghasdal (Borrisdale). The name presumably has the same origin as the one that  Iain mac an Tailleir supplies for the place in Lochs, Lewis:

Eishken (Lewis), Éisgean. This Norse name may contain "ash tree".

In the censuses it tends to be written 'Esgein' but, as can be seen from this entry for the Lewis location the preferred spelling is Eisgein whilst the RCAHMS entry provides 'Isginn' as the preferred alternative.

The 'five roofed and thirteen unroofed buildings' that were surveyed in 1878, and which appear to me to correlate with the households of the 1851 Census for 'Port Esgein, Farm of Strond' can be seen in this image from the NLS.

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It would be lovely to know what use has been made over the centuries of this most South-Easterly haven in the Sound but looking at the old maps the settlement of Srannda (Strond) appears centralised upon the port suggesting that it may have had an importance that its small size might easily lead one to overlook today.

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