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, 14 February 2011

Some Sites in Strond

I have made reference to Harris Development Limited in previous posts but, somehow, have failed to examine one of their Projects despite it being of particular significance regarding the story of Strond.

I refer to an (undated) 'Record of Strond Site' where we have a map and accompanying photographs that relate to these 46 sites.

It is the first three of these (STF1, STF2 & STF3) that I wish to focus upon for they record two slipways, including possibly Port Ungasto, and a wall that may be part of Dun Boraigeo. I have shown the location of the possible site of Port Ungasto on this map where the symbol of a telephone indicates the location of the old Strond Post Office and it is between there and Borghasdal that the ruins of the dozen-and-a-half houses that, I believe, were 'Port Esgein, Farm of Strond' in 1851 are found.

So we have a port, defended by an adjacent dun, with a small settlement on farmland bounded by a hill behind with a well-defined track to Rodel and another to the Carminish peninsular and the dun the protects that part of the coast with its natural 'harbour'. My earlier impression that these coastal duns might have been both symbols of power & ownership as well as places of safety when danger was signalled seems perfectly plausible and I think it highly likely that the relatively modern group of houses from 1851 were displaying a continuity of use from the days of the duns. As I have made clear before, the earliest accurate map made by Bald in 1804 (and having georeferenced it to Google Earth I can attest to how remarkably accurately he performed his duties as a surveyor) clearly places Strond in what we know as Borghasdal and equally surely shows little sign of significant settlement along the coast until we reach Carminish.

I may well be wrong but, if not, then it seems even more certain that the Paisley Sisters were living in 1851 in what is now one of the ruins near Borghasdal and that the plaque commemorating them is either indicating another place that they occupied at some other time or it is possibly in altogether the wrong location.

Note: I first suggested this a year ago in 'A Stroll From Strond To Rodel Across The Decades...' where the connection between the ruins and the records is explained in more depth.

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