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

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mol na Herradh - 'The Stoney Beach of Harris'

From the comments section in the previous piece arises the matter of the 'March' or boundary between Harris & Lewis. I am extremely grateful to my friend ADB for once again coming to my aid by identifying 'Mulhagery' at Grid Ref NB197118 which I then found on the 6-inch OS map where it appears as Mol na Herradh.
What was particularly interesting was that, according to the 6-inch series, the majority, if not all, of the buildings appeared to lie on the Lewis side of the boundary hence I was surprised that the people living there were listed in the 1851 census of Harris.
However, this statement from 1805 provides the answer:
'Depones, That he is not so well acquainted with the situation of the march betwixt Lewis and Harris, as it proceeds to Loch Seaforth on the east, but understands it to be at the rivulet called Gil a Mhoil, which falls into Loch Seaforth, at Mol na Herradh; and that the term Mol na Herradh signifies, The Stoney Beach of Harris, which name it has always had.'
It was made by a Sub-Forester, Donald Macaulay, and is to be found in this PDF document created by Hebridean Connections and CE Uig, with the latter providing further fascinating information here http://www.ceuig.co.uk/the-lewis-harris-boundary-dispute-i-1805/ and here http://www.ceuig.co.uk/on-the-lewis-harris-boundary/.

The boundary was again subject to a dispute in 1850 which moved it further North leaving us with the 1841 census list of 53 people living in Mol na Herradh as a unique record of folk whose homes in 'The Stoney Beach Of Harris' are now in Lewis!

1 comment:

  1. Even to this day, the status of Seaforth Island (opposite Mol na Hearradh) is unclear. Is it in Lewis, or is it in Harris? Until 1975, it was held to be both in Ross and Cromarty, and in Inverness-shire.