Lochbroom Place Names
Attribution: unknown (Achiltibuie Community Centre)
Lochbraon 1227 ;
Inverasfran et Loghbren 1275 (Thein Vet. Mon.) ;
In the uplands is Lochaidh bhraoin, where lochaidh can scarcely be other than a diminutive of Loch ; cf. Lochaidh Nid. From it flows the river Broom, Abhainn Bhraoin, through Glenbroom, famed in William Ross’s song, “Bruthaichean Ghlinn Braoin”. The name Broom, G. Broin, thus primarily applies to the river ; G. braon, O. Ir. broen, a drop, shower, water. There are also R. Broom and Loch Broom, G. Loch Braoin in Perthshire ; cf. Brin, G. Braoin, Inverness ; Fairburn, G. Farabraoin ; Braonag, a spot by the river side beyond Kildermorie.
At the head of Lochbroom is Clachan LochBhraoin, the stone Church of Lochbroom , still the site of the Parish Church ; dedication unknown
Gruinardgarve; G. Gruinneard garbh, rough Gruineard.
Benn a’ Chaisgein; There are two hills so called, Little and Big. Also Feith chaisgein.
Inverivanie 1669 ;
also Allt Innbhir-riamhainnidh out of an Gleanna garbh, the rough glen ; riamhainnidh is proba bly based on the root seen in G. riamh, riadh, a course runnigh (in modern G. ‘a drill’). The suffixes may be compared with Ptolemy’s Lib-nios. A Pictish name.
Fisherfield; G. Innis an Iasgaich, of which the English is a rough translation.
Gruinard River; Flows into Gruinard Bay ; N. grunna-fjoror, shallow firth. Dabhach Ghruinneard, the davoch land of Gruineard, is still heard. On the river is Na Coineasan, the joint-falls, from con, together, and eas, a fall, a series of pools and rapids ; cf. Coneas, Allt a’ Chonais.
Lochan Giuthais; Fir lochlet, behind Crag nam Bord, Rock of the flats.
Guisachan; G. Giuthsachan, place of fir-wood. Creag Ghiuthsachan, Rock of Guisachan. Cf. Guisachan, in Inverness-shire.
Lochan na Bearta; Lochlet of the deed. Near it are said to be uamhagan (little caves, holes), that would hold twenty persons. This seems like a description of earth-houses. Unfortunately the place is remote, and those who knew the uamhagan in their youth are too aged to guide one to the spot.
Glenmuick; G. Gleann an Muice, glen of the sow ; Abhainn Gleann an Muice, River of Glenmuick.
Larachantivore; G.Larach an Tigh-mhoir, site of the big house ; once a large farm-house.
Lochan a’ Bhraghad; Lochlet of the upper part.
Suidheachan Fhinn; Finn’s Seat ; a place like a long seat, in the north side of Beinn Tarsuinn, Cross-hill.
Beinn a’ Chlaidheimh; Hill of the Sword.
Loch na Sealg; Loch of the hunts ; Srath na Sealg, and Abhainn Srath na Sealg, Strath and River of the Hunts ; cf. Srath na Sealg, Sutherland.
Lochaidh Nid; Lochlet of the nest ; from its situation ; cf. the Nest in Fannish. There is a farm of Ned, situated in a hollow, near St Andrews.
Achnegie; Auchanewy 1574, Auchinevie 1633 ; G. Achd an fhiodaidh, Field of the place of wood ; G. fiodh, fiodhach. It is, or was within living memory, full of alder and birch.
Eilean nan Ceap; Island of the blocks or tree stumps.
Shenavall; G. an Sean-bhaile, the Old-town ; above it is Bac an Aorigh (ao short) ; cf. Bac an Airidh near Loch Benncharan.
An t-Sail Liath (3000); The Gray Heel.
Sgurra Fiona (3474) — ? Wine peak.
An Teallach (3484); The Forge ; either from its smoke-like mists, or from some supposed resemblance to a forge. The whole group of Bens is called an Teallaich locative.
Spidean a’ Ghlas-tuill; Pinnacle of the green hole (O.S.M. Bidein a’ Ghlas-Thuill).
An Sgurra Ruadh (2493); The red skerry ; Lochan Ruadh of O.S.M. is Lochan an Diabhaidh, Lochlet of Shrinking or drying.
Carn na Beste; Cairn of the Monster. By it is Carn a’ Choiridh, Cairn of the little corry.
Loch na Cleire; Loch of the Clergy. It flows into Loch Badcall.
Lochan na Caoirilt; Lochlet of the Quarry, or quarry-like face (O.S.M. Lochan na Cairill).
Loch an Eilich; Loch of the eileach, which usually means a mill-lade, but here a short, shallow, narrow channel.
Inchina; G. Innis an ath, Haugh or water meadow of the ford. Below it is Torra Cadaidh, probably Knoll of Adie’s son, Adie being a diminutive of Adam. Mac-adaidh is an Easter Ross surname or an alternative surname for Munro in certain families. Cf. Eas Cadaidh in Coirevalagan, Kincardine.
Am Bad Rabhain; Waterweed clump, or water lily clump ; Allt a’ Bhaid Rabhain enters the sea N. of Gruinard House ; cf. Feith Rabhain in Gairloch.
Cladh Phris; Burial-place of the bush or copse ; a disused burying-ground on Isle Gruinard, at the landing-place S.E. Camas an Fhiodh, wood bay, is also on the Isle.
An Eilid; The Hind, a small hill on Isle Gruinard ; Na Gamhnaichean, the Stirks, are rocks ; An t-Seanachreag, the old rock, a common name.
Miotag; G. Meideag ; the terminal part is N. vik, bay, which describes the place ; meid is difficult, and as there seems to be no single Norse word which would yield this in Gaelic, it appears to be the result of “telescoping” with compensatory lengthening of e. Cf. Inverasdale.
Mungasdill 1633 ;
G. Mungasdal ;
N. Munks-dalr, Monk’s dale.
Faithir Mungasdail, the shelving slope of M., and Mealbhan Mungasdail, the links on the shore at the farm ; N. melr. Sron an Fhaithir Mhori, Point of the great shelving slope, is on the coast further north. Faithir Mungasdail runs from Static nearly to Rudha na Moine, Moss Point.
Stattic Point; G. Stadaig ; -aig is N. vik, bay ; the only N. word that would result in Gaelic stad is stat, prudishness, which gives no sense ; cf. Miqtag, above.
Little Loch Broom; G. an Loch Beag. Blaeu has it as Loch carlin ; but this name, if it ever existed, is quite gone.
Badluachrach; G. am Bad luachrach, the clump of rushes.
Durnamuck; Derymuk 1548, Derynomwik 1574, Dirinamuck 1633 ; G. Doire nam mucm Swine copse.
Badcall; G. am Bad-call, the Hazel Clump. Allt a’ Bhaid choill, Burn of Badcall, flows through Badcall, but does not rise in Loch Badcall.
Badbea; G. am Bad beithe, the Birch Clump.
Ardessie; G. Aird-easaidh, Promontory of Essie, which latter is perhaps best regarded as a stream name, meaning Fall-stream. There is a very fine waterfall on the Ardessie Burn ; rises in Lochan an Diabhaidh above.
Camasnagaul; G. Camas nan Gall, Lowlanders’ Bay.
Mac ‘us Mathair 2293 — Son and Mother ; a fanciful name for two adjacent hills.
Strathbeg; G. an Srath beag, the Little Strath, as distinguished from Strathmore at the head of Lochbroom proper.
Auchtascailt; Auchadaskild 1548 ; Achadrachskalie 1574 ; Achtaskeald 1633 ; G. Acha da sqaillt, Field of two bald (places) ; G. sgallta, bald, bare.
Allt Toll an Lochain; Burn of the hollow of the lochlet ; the upper part of Allt a’ Mhuilinn, Mill-burn.
Corryhallie; Corrinsallie ; G. Coire-shaillidh, Corry of Fatness, from its good pasture.
Gleann Coire Chaorachain; Glen of the corry of the place of mountain torrents ; cf. Sgurr nan Caroachan in Applecross.
Carn a’ Bhreabadair; The Weaver’s Cairn.
An Cumhag; The narrow ; ravine and waterfall ; cf. Coag ; G. An Cumbag in Kilmuir Easter.
A’ Chathair Dhubh; The Black Fairy Knoll ; where the public road crosses the Strathbeg River.
Meall an t-Sithidh; O.S.M. Meall an t-Sithe ; cf. Achintee.
Na Lochan Fraoich; The Heather Lochs ; two lochs joined by a short, narrow, shallow channel, of which it is said ‘tha eileach eatorra’.
Allt Eiginn; Burn of Difficulty ; eiginn is applied to places very rough and difficult of access ; also Loch Eiginn.
Fain; G. na Feithean, the bog channels.
Carn a’ Bhiorain; Cairn of little sharp point.
Loch an Airceil — Probably Ir. aircel, a hiding-place ; loch of the hiding-place. An Airceal was the name of a croft ; and there is a spot on Lochbroom Glebe called An Airceal.
Maoil an Tiompain; the bare round hill of the ‘tiompan’. A ‘tiompan’ is a one-sided hillock. A’ Chathair bhan, the white fairy knoll.
Creag na Corcurach; O.S.M. Creag Corcurach ; based on root of Ir. corcach, a bog ; rock of the boggy places. Torr na Cathrach, Mound of the fairy knoll ; Bruthach na Gearr(a)choille, Brae of the short wood ; cf. a’ Ghearrachoille, near Ardgay.
Dundonnell; Auchnadonill 1548, Auchtadonill 1633, Auchterdoull 1649 ; G. Acha da Domhnaill, Field of two Donalds. This is the current G. for Dundonnell ; but Dun Domhnaill also exists as the name of a spot near the farm-house. The spot where the lodge stands is an t-Eilean Daraich, the Oak Isle.
Preas nam Bodach; Bush or copse of the spectres ; it is haunted. Am Preas Mor, the big clump ; once an alder clump, now a green island with fringe of alder trees on north side. Both near Dundonnell House,
Loch na Lagaidh; Loch of the place of the hollow. Lagaidh, when it occurs on the west coast, is fem., and is used with the article ; the E. Ross Lagaidh, Logie, has not got the article prefixed.
Cladh a’ Bhord Bhuidhe; Graveyard of the yellow flat ; Pairc a’ Bhord Bhuidhe, Park of the same.
Keppoch; G. a’ Cheapaich, the tillage plot ; common. Also Raon na Ceapaich and Creag na Ceapaich, Field and Rock of Kepppoch. Sron na Ceapaich, Point of Keppoch, also called a’ Chlach Cheannli, for Cheann-liath, gray-headed stone ; cf. Maoil Cheanndearg.
Kildonan; G. Cill Donnain, St Donnan’s Church. Corran Chill Donnain, Kildonan Point. Corran is very common along the west coast in this sense, and is usually found at the horn of a small bay. Cladh Chill Donnain, Kildonan graveyard.
Na Faithrichean; The shelving slopes.
Badrallach; G. am Bad-railleach, the oak clump ; Ir. ral, oak. Birch and hazel still grow here. A poisonous plant used to be found here called ‘an boinne mear’; Ir. benn mer, henbane. Corran a’ Bhaid-railleach, Badrallach Point.
Allt an Leth Ghlinne; Burn of the half-glen.
Loch na h-Uidhe; Loch of the water-isthmus.
Loch na Coireig; Loch of the little corry.
A’ Bheinn Ghobhlach; The forked hill ; Bin Cowloch, Blaeu.
Allt an Uisge Mhath; Burn of the good water.
Rhireavach; G. Ruigh’ riabhach, dappled hillreach.
An Carnach; The stony place, which describes it.
Sgoraig; N. sgor-vik, rift-bay, from a narrow gully at the place.
Sgoraig sgreagach, ‘s dona beag I,
Aite gun dion gun fhasgadh, gun phreas na coille.
Scraggy Scoraig, bad and little ; A place without protection or shelter, bush or wood.
Mol Sgoraig, Shingle beach of Scoraig.
Carn na Fir Freig (for bhreug), Cairn of the false men ; fir-breig are stones on the sky-line, which might be taken for men ; behind Scoraig.
Cailleach Head; G. Sron na Caillich, nun’s point ; in O.S.A. Rudha Shanndraig. A’ Chailleach, the nun, and Bodach a’ Chleirich, the parson’s carl, are points facing one another.
Camas nan Ruadhag; Crab Bay.
Meall a’ Chaoruinn; Rowan Lump, otherwise Stac Chaoruinn, Rowan Stack ; an island.
Carnasgeir; Cairn-skerry ; for formation cf. Eigintol and Plucaird. There are a cairn and a skerry, joined at low water.
An Leac Dhonn; The brown flat rock ; a basking; place of seals.
Annat; G. an Annait, the mother-church. Cladh na h-Annait, Annat graveyard. Annat bay is G. Linne na h-Annait, or am Polla Mor. Glaic an Righ Chonanaich; Hollow of the ? Strath-conon King. This may be Torquil Conanach, son of Rory Macleod of the Lewis, so called because he was brought up in Strathconnon. This Torquil, who was rightful heir to the Lewis, flourished in the latter half of the 16th century, and might have been styled ‘king’ by the people of the west.
An Talla; The Hall ; a point with site of a tower occupied by Righ an Talla Dheirg, the king of the red hall.
Achmore; G. an Acha’ Mor, big field.
Badacrain; G. Bad nan Cnaimhean, clump of the Bones ; otherwise Badaidh nan Cnaimhean. Near it is Stall an t-Sagairt, Priest’s Rock about which there is a tradition that a certain stone is to fall on a priest passing in a boat.
Camas a’ Mhaoraich; Shell-fish bay ; Cammez Murie Blaeu.
Altnaharrie; G. Allt na h-Airbhe (or Eirbhe), Burn of the wall or fence ; it comes from Loch na h-Airbhe, Loch of the Fence. The fence or wall in question runs along by the north end of the loch, and so on towards Maoil na h-Eirbhe, Hill of the Fence. It is a very old wall, composed of sods and stones. G. Airbhe or eirbhe is O. Ir. airbe, meaning (1) ribs (2) fence ; and is not uncommon in northern place-names ; cf. Camas na h-Eirbhe and Loch Doire na h-Eirbhe in Gairloch ; Loch Doire na h-Eirbhe in Coigach ; Altnaharra, G. Allt na h-Eirbhe, in Sutherland. At all these places similar old walls exist, and their antiquity may be gauged from their appearance, as well as from the fact that the word eirbhe is quite obsolete in the north, and that there is no tradition as to the purpose of them.
Logie; Logy 1548 ; G. an Lagaidh, the place of the hollow. Here is Dun na Lagaidh, Fort of Logie, a broch in a very ruinous condition. The current in the narrows here is called Sruth na Lagaidh.
Blarnalevoch; G. Blar na Leitheoch, Plain or moor of the half-place, i.e. place between hill and loch. But I have got also Blar-na-leamhach, Elmwood plain ; cf. an Leithead Leamhach in Kincardine.
Rhiroy; G. an Ruigh Ruadh, the red hill-reach. Here is Dun an Ruigh Ruaidh, Fort of the red slope (O.S.M. Din an Righ Ruaidh), a broch of about 40 feet internal diameter, with its first storey gallery in very fair preservation. Very large stones have been used in it all round. Its north side is on the very edge of a precipitous rock, and it stands between two burns, each less than 100 yards distant from it.
Ardindrean G. Ard an Dreaghainn, Thorn-point.
Letters; G. an Leitir, the hill-side slope.
Strathmore; G. an Srath mor, the big Strath, at the head of Lochbroom. This is the Strathmore of the well-known Gaelic chorus which ends;
Gur boidheach an comunn
‘Th’ aig coinneamh ‘n t-Srath-mhoir.
The words of this chorus, which are best known through the famous song beginning ‘Gur gile mo leannan’, were composed by Mrs Mackenzie of Ballone, now Inverbroom ; G. Bail’ an Loin, Stead of the damp meadow.
Croftown; G. Bail’ na Croit
Achaglounachan, Blaeu ;
G. Ach-ghluineachain and Acha-luinneachain, of which the former is the better form ; G. gluineach, kneed, jointed, applied to grasses with jointed stalks ; Field of the jointed grass.
Garvan; G. an Garbhan, the rough place.
Achindrean; Auchquhedrane 1543, Auchindrewyne 1574, Auchindrein 1633 ; Thorn-field.
Meall a’ Chrasgaidh 3062; Hill of the crossing.
A’ Chailleach 3276; The Nun, or the old woman.
Abhainn Dhroma; From Loch Droma, Ridge Loch, on the watershed. Otherwise Dubhag.
Corryhalloch; G. Coire-shalach, Ugly Corry, the tremendous chasm near Braemore House. The fine waterfall at the bridge which spans the ravine is Easan na Miasaich, the waterfalls of the place of platters ; the ‘platters’ are the great pot-holes worn by the action of the water. (Falls of Measach).
Meall Leacachain; Hill of the place of flagstones ; also Leathad Leacaachain, Hillside of Leacachan. There is a tale attached to it which is too long to repeat*
*V. Guide to Ullapool and Lochbroom.
Dirriemore; G. an Diridh Mor, the great ascent.
Beinn Eunacleit; O.S.M. Beinn Aonaclair ; N. Enni-klettr, Brow-cliff ; cf. Enaclete.
Braemore; G. an Braigh’ Mor, the big upper part.
Fasagrianach; G. an Fhasadh-chrionaich ; na Fasadh-chrionaich (genitive) ; Rotten-tree Stead ; the compound takes the gender of the latter part crionaich, feminine ; fasadh is masculine. The formation is common, especially in the West ; cf. an Lon-roid, an t-Allt-giuthais.
Diollaid a’ Mhill Bhric; Saddle of the speckled hill (meall).
Glackour; G. a’ Ghlaic odhar, the dun hollow.
Inverbroom Lodge or Foy Lodge; G. an Fhothaith ; Tigh na Fothai’, a weakened form of faithche, a green, lawn ; cf. Baile na Foitheachan, Stead of the green places or lawns (wrongly explained supra, p. 25).
Inner laall, Blaeu ;
G. Inbhir Lathail ;
N. Lag-hol, Low hollow, with G. Inbhir, confluence ; near the place where R. Lael enters Lochbroom.
Gleann na Sguaib; Known locally as Gleann Mhic-an-Aba, Macnab’s Glen. The O.S.M. name I have not been able to verify.
Sgurr Eideadh nan Clach Geala; Garment-of-white-stones Peak ; sgurr is defined by the whole following phrase, to which it stands in apposition.
Ard nan Long; Promontory of the ships ; the anchorage at the head of Lochbroom.
Ardcharnaich; Ardhernich 1666 ; G. Ard-Cheath-arnaich, Champion’s Promontory. Corran Ard-cheatharnaich, Ardcharnaich Point.
Raonachroisg; G. Raon a’ chroisg, Field of the crossing.
Lachmaline 1548 ;
Lochmalyne 1574 ;
Lekmaline 1633 ;
Leach Maillinim, Blaeu.
G. Leac Mailm ; leac, a flag-stone, a flat stone over a grave ; Mailm, the old forms of which all show n, is probably the name of a man who was buried here ; cf. “battle of Liacc Maelain,” Ann. Of Ulster, 677 A.D.
Beinn Eildeach; Hill of hinds ; eildeach contracted for eilideach. Under it is Leac Mhor an Cle’.
Corry; G. an Coiridh, the little corry ; it is a little hollow. Also Corry Point.
Braes of Ullapool; G. Bruthaichean Ullabuil.
Gadcaisceig; G. Gead-caisceig, narrow rig or lazy-bed of caisceig.
Ullapool; Ullabill (Bleau) ; G. Ullabul, N. Ullibolstaor, Ulli’s stead.
Calascaig; N. Kali-skiki, Kali’s strip ; at the foot of Loch Achall. Maol Chalascaig, Bare hill of Calascaig, about a mile east of Ullapool. Leathad Chalascaig, broad hill-side of Calascaig, on south side of Loch Achall. Blaeu has Avon Challascaig flowing into the loch.
Loch Achall; G. Loch Ach-challa, also Loch Acha-challa, Loch of the field of hazel, G. call. Also Gleann Loch-Achalla, Glen of Achall.
Poll-da-ruigh; Hollow of two hill-slopes ; near Ullapool. One slope rises up to Cnoc na Croiche, Gallows Hill.
Rhidorroch; G. an Ruigh dhorcha, the dark hill-slope.
Allt Chill-eiteachan; behind Ullapool, in the Rhidorroch direction. The name implies an ancient chapel. Cf. Carn-eite, Kintail.
Meall na Mocherigh; Hill of the early rising ; or perhaps rather of the achievement that comes of early rising.
Douchary; G. Duchairidh for dubh-chatharaigh, place of black broken moor ; common. Also Glen Donchary and River Douchary.
Glastullich — So Blaeu ; Green hillock.
Morefield; G. Mhor-choille, the great wood. Morefield Cottage is an Ceanna-chruinn, the round head.
Allt an t-srathain; Burn of the little strath ; O.S.M. Allatyrne Burn.
Rudh’ Ard a’ Chadail; Point of Ardachadail, which again means Sleep-promontory.
Cuil a’ Bhodha; Nook of the reef ; a good fishing bank. O.S.M. Cul Bo.
Ard na h-Eigheamh; Promontory of shouting (for the ferry-boat).
Isle Martin; G. Eilean Mhartainn ; a burial place in it is Cladh Eilein Mhartainn.
Ardmair; G. Ard Mheara, Finger promontory ; with fine beaches. The spit of land projecting into the sea and covered at high tide is called an Saothair.
Keanchilish; G. Ceann a’ Chaolais, Head if the Narrows or Kyle ; at entrance to Loch Kannaird. South of it is Glutan, ‘throat’; a gorge.
Loch Kanaird; L. Cannord, Blaeu ; G. Loch Cainneart ; N. kann-fjoror, Can-firth ; the Can was doubtless the broch, now ruinous, near the entrance to the loch on its western side, called still Dun Canna. Its can-like shape struck the Norsemen,* as did the can-like peak of the chief hill in Raasay, also called in Gaelic Dun Canna, in English Dun Can. *This goes to prove, if additional proof were needed, that the brochs are pre-Norse.
Pollachoire — G. Poll a Choire, Cauldron pool.
Duasdale; G. Dubh-astail, black dwelling ; also Burn of Dunasdale.
Loch a’ Chroisg; Loch of the crossing.
Rapag; Noisy place ;
Allt Rapag, Noisy Burn.
Meall a’ Bhuirich; Hill of bellowing (of stags)
Langwell; N. lang-vollr, long field.
Ach nan Cairidhean; Field of the tidal weirs ; O.S.M. Achnacarnean.
Drienach; G. an Droighneach, place of thorns.
Achendrean; G. Ach an Dreaghainn, Field of thorns.
Blughasary; G. Blaoghasairigh (ao short), or Bladhasairigh ; to be divided Blaogh (or Bladh)-as-airigh ; for airigh cf. Kenrnsary, Smiorasair, Meall Andraraidh ; as may well stand for N. hus, a house ; the first syllable is doubtful ; it requires a N. blag-or bleig-, which is not forthcoming.
Drumrunie; G. Druima Raonaidh, also Abhainn Raonaidh. Raonaidh is probably the stream name ; ‘River of the upland plain’.
Loch Lurgainn; Shank Loch ; there s a Fingalian tale attached explanatory of the name. Fionn and his mother came to blows with some giants in the Garve direction, and as he was getting the worst of it he seized his mother by the legs, threw her over his shoulder, and fled westwards. He stopped at this loch, and on taking the old lady down, found he had only the shanks of her, which he threw into the loch. A more rationalistic explanation may be found in the fact that the loch has an outlet at both ends.
Loch a’ Chlaiginn; Skull loch ; claigeann is commonly applied to a knob-shaped hill.
Loch Eadar da Bheinn; Loch between two hills.
Na Beannanan Beaga — The little hillocks.
Cogeach 1502 ;
Ladocchogith 1508 ;
Coidgeach, 1538 ;
Coygach, Blaeu ;
G. a’ Choigeach, Place of fifths ; for which use of coig cf. the five Coig’s in Strathdearn, Coig na Fearna, &c. Division of land into fifths is a common and ancient Gaelic practice, the best known fifths being the five fifths of Erin; coig coigimh na h-Eirin.* Tradition makes the five-fifths of Coigach to have been Achnahaird, Achlochan, Acheniver, Achabhraighe, and Achduart; the fiv Ach’s na coig achaidhean,’ and this the local derivation of the name.
*A Gaelic saying has it, “Tha coig coigimh an Eirinn agus thaa coig eoigimh an Srath-eirinn ach ‘s fearr aon coigeamh na h-Eirinn ; na coig eoigimh Srath-eirinn ;” there are five-fifths in Erin and five-fifths in Stratherin ; but better is one fifth of Erin than the five fifths of Stratherin (Strathdearn).
Creag Mhor na Coigich; The great rock of Coigach ; In it is Allt nan Coisichean, Burn of the walkers, a resting place on the way to Ullapool.
Coulnacraig; G. Cul na Creige, Back of the Rock.
Achduart; G. Achadh Dubhard, Black-point Field. Duart is a common name. Rudha Dubh-ard, Duart Point.
Iolla Bheag; The little fishing rock ; also An Iolla Mhor.
Horse Sound; G. Caolas Eilean nan Each.
Horse Island; G. Eilean nan Each.
Acheninver; G. Achd an Inbhir, Field of the estuary.
Achabhraigh; G. Achd a’ Bhraighe, Field of the Upper part.
Badenscallie; Badskalbay 1617 ; Badinscally, Blaeu ; G. Bad-a-Sgalaidh. Clump of the place of spectres ; Ir. Scal, spectre. Cf. Bothan Badsgalaidh beyond kildermorie, a place notoriously haunted. Local tradition derives the name from Sgal one of the three brothers who first settled Coigach. The second was ‘an Gille Buidhe,’ the Yellow Lad, who settled at Achiltybuie. The name of the third I failed to learn. They used to meet at a great stone in the moor about equidistant from the three, called Clach na Comhalach, Trysting-Stone.
Polglass; G. am Poll glas, the green hollow.
Achlochan; G. Achid an Lochain, Field of the little Pool.
Rudh’ an Dunain; Point of the little fort.
Achiltibue; Badincarbatakilvy 1617 (read t for c) ; Achamuilby, Blaeu. The Gaelic is heard as Ache-ille- bhuidhe, Aichilidh bhuidhe, Achilldhuidhe. Local tradition derives as ‘Field of the yellow lad,’ or ‘Cave (faic) of the yellow lad,’ and there are tales of the Gille Buidhe. But this is probably mere popular etymology, and it is to be feared that the first of the three Gaelic forms is a popular corruption to suit the story. The other two are similar to Achilty in Contin G. Achillidh, and may show the same root as Welsh uchel, high ; cf. Oykell, Ochil.
Badentarbet; Badintarbat 1617 ; G. bad an Tairbeirt, Clump of the Portage ; the lochs behind it are separated by a narrow neck, across which boats would be hauled.
Polbain; G. am Poll ban, the white hollow.
Dorney; Dorny 1617 ; G. an Doirnidh, the place of rounded pebbles. The real old Dorney, G. an t-Seann Doirnidh, is opposite Isle Ristol, to which it stands in the same relation as the Kintail Dornie to Ellandonan. There are here also rounded pebbles, and Meall na Sgriodain, Hill of the Scree, comes down to the water’s edge ; v. Dornie in Kintail.
Summer Isles; G. na h-Eileanan Samhraidh. The chief of these follow, the last being Isle Ristol.
Tanera; G. Tannara (Tawnnara) ; N, h fnar-ey, with usual prefixed t, Harbour-isle. The anchorage, G. an acarsaid, in the eastern side of Tannera, is well known on the west for its security. There is another Tanera on the east of Lewis, near the Birken Isles.
Ardnagoine; G. Ard nan Gaimhne, Promontory of the Stirks ; from its good pasture.
Caolas a’ Mhuill Ghairbh; Narrow of the rough Mull or promontory ; N. muli, a jutting crag ; cf. Mull of Kintyre.
Sgeir Ribhinn; Lady Skerry ; O.S.M. Sgeir Revan.
Sgeir Neo-ghluasadach; Immovable skerry ; Fast-skerry.
Na Feadh’laichean; The shallow sandy channels between na Sgirean glasa, the green skerries, and Carn Deas, South Cairn, and between the latter and Carn Iar, West cairn ; pl. of feadhail, a variant of faodhail, an extensive beach.
Bottle Island; G. Eilean a’ Bhotuil ; otherwise Eilean Druim-briste, Broken-backed Isle ; there is a depression in the middle.
Priest Island; G. an Cleireach ; the cleric (never Eilean a’ Chleirich).
A’ Mhullagraich –? The place of bumps or knolls.*
Mullagrach occurs as an adjective, meaning apparently, ‘full of protuberances,’ in the Poems of Egan O’Rehilly (Irish Texts Society, Vol. III.).
Isle Ristol — G. Eilean Ruisteil ; on the mainland opposite is Allt Ruisteil, Ristol Burn, which suggests that the original Ristol was on the mainland ; N. hryss-dailr, Mare dale.
Altandow; G. an t-Alltan dubh, the little black burn ; name of a township.
Reiff;Reiff 1617 ;G. an Rif (as Eng. riff), the reef ; N. rif, a reef. The reef here is called Bogha a’ Bhuraich, Reef of the bellowing.
Loch na Totaig; Loch of the ruined homestead.
Faochag; G. an Fhaochag, ‘the wilk,’ a quaint name. Camas na Faochaige, Faochag Bay.
Rudha na Coigich; Coigach Point.
Camas Coille; Wood bay.
Achnahaird; Auchnahard 1617 ; G. Achadh na h-Aird, Field of the Aird. The Aird, or promontory, of Coigach, is a large district.
Loch Raa; L. Rha, Blaeu ; G. Loch Ra, Red Loch ; N. rauor, red.
Loch Battachan; G. Loch nam Badachan, Loch of the copses.
Garvie Bay; G. Garbhaidh seems to be the name of the stream from Loch Osgaig which enters the sea here ; Rough River ; cf. Garry. There is also Loch Garvie, a widening of the stream before it reaches the sea.
Loch Osgaig (o); N. oss-skiki, Outlet-strip. O.S.M. Loch Owskeich.
Loch Bad a’ Ghaill; Lowlander’s-clump Loch.
Aird of Coigach; Dauachnahard 1617 (Dabhach na h-Airde) ; G. airde na Coigich, Promontory of Coigach.
Loch na Saile; Loch of the Heel ; from its shape.
Beinn an Eoin; Hill of the Bird.
River Polly; G. Abhainn Phollaidh ; also Srath Phollaidh, Strathpolly ; Inbhir-Phollaidh, Inverpolly. Pollaidh is a river name, with the common river ternination ; River of Pools, or Holes.
Loch Sianascaig; N. sjonar-skiki, Observation strip. O.S.M. Loch Skinaskink.
Cuthaill Mhor and Cuthaill Bheag; The latter part is N. fjall, a hill ; first part obsecure. The names recur in the parish of Urray, where I have doubtfully suggested kua-fjall, Cow-fell. More probably kvi-fjall, Pen-fell, Fold-fell ; cf. Cuidhashader, p. 270.
Ruighrianach; G. Ruigh-ghrianach, Sunny slope.
River Kirkaig; Abhainn Chircaig ; also Loch Kirkaig and Inverkirkaig ; N. kirku-vik, Church-bay.
Cuil na Bioraich; (O.S.M. Cuil na Beathrach) ; nook of the dog-fish (possibly of the heifer).
Loch Veyatie; L. Meaty (Blaeu) ; G. Loch Mheathadaidh ; for the first part may be compared the numerous Lewis names in meatha-, from N. mjo, narrow ; ternimal;aidh is probably N. a’ river, d being all that remains of the noun qualified by mjo ; the river of the narrow ——– ?’ The loch would naturally be called after the river.
Loch Doire na h-Airbhe; Loch of the copse of the wall. An old wall runs near the loch ; cf. Altnaharrie. O.S.M. Loch na Doire Seirbhe.
Loch an Arbhair; Loch of Corn ; O.S.M. Loch na Darubh. This loch and Loch a’ Choin, Dog-loch, have got transposed on the one-inch O.S.M.
Loch Call nan Uidhean; Hazel-loch of the isthmuses ; there are four isthmuses round it. O.S.M. Loch Call an Uigean.
Place Names of Lochbroom Parish
This extract was taken, with the permission of the Trustees, from Prof. W.J. Watson’s – ‘Place Names of Ross and Cromarty’. The most recent edition of this work was published by HIGHLAND HERITAGE BOOKS Tir nan Oran, 8 Culcairn Road, Evanton IV16 9YT
Place Names of Ross and Cromarty p241