Thursday, 5 November 2015

Place Names in Farr

Photo Loch Naver, C Stokes

Parish of Farr
In 1897 it was estimated that the parish measured 267,040 acres – an extensive parish. It is naturally divided into three parts by the rivers Halladale, Strathy and Naver. In long gone days the bulk of the population lived in those three valleys.  
The following place names are shown here simply as a guide and are taken from ‘Sutherland and the Reay Country’ Topography, edited by Rev. Adam Gunn, M.A., and John Mackay, 1897

ACHINA, Gaelic Achadh, a ford
ACHNABOURIN, Gaelic achadh and buirghean, bvrgs, field of fortifications
ACHNESS, Gaelic, achadh-an-eas, field of the cascade
ACHREDIGILL, gill is Norse meaning ravine – beginning is Gaelic
ALTNAHARRA, harra Norse for heights and alt Gaelic for burn – high burn
ARDACHY, high field, Gaelic
ARMADALE, from Norse armer, arm of sea and dale
BALIGILL, township in ravine, Norse & Gaelic
BETTYHILL, modern name so called from Countess Elizabeth who build an inn there. The Gaelic name is Blaran-odhar, the dun field
BIGHOUSE, Gaelic an Torr, the heap or fortified place, where of old a castle stood to defend the entrance to the bay
BRA-RATHY, Gaelic Braigh-rathie, upper Strathy
BRAWL, Gaelic Braigh-bhile
CRASK, crossway, Gaelic
CROICK, the hand, from the natural configuration, Gaelic
DALANGDALE, langdale, Norse
DALHALVAIG, dale of the sorrel, Gaelic
DALHAROLD, Norse, Harold’s dale
DALVINA, Gaelic, Dalmhine, smooth dale
FARR, village and Farr Point from which the parish took its name, probably from the Gaelic faire, watching, in ancient manuscripts always spelled Far
FORSINAIRD, high waterfall, Gaelic & Norse
FORSINAIN, low waterfall, Gaelic & Norse
GOLVAL, stranger township, Gaelic
GRUMBEG & GRUMBMORE, sometimes called in Gaelic na grumbaichean, are probably of Gaelic origin.  Grum is a variant of drum, a ridge.
INVERNAVER, Gaelic, mouth of the Naver
KEALSEY, narrow stream, Gaelic
KIRTOMY, Gaelic Ciurstamaidh or Norse Kjors – copse wood
KIRKTON, Gaelic Baine-na-h-eaglaise, was the most important township on the Halladale
LEADNAGUILLEAN, Gaelic Leathad, slope – possibly slope of gullies
MELVICH, sand-bank or links bay, Norse
MUDALE, Norse, muir dale
PILLAORISCAIG, seaside hamlet at the back of Armadale, Gaelic and/or Norse, possible pool a river mouth or small bay
PORTSKERRA, port or harbour, a Skerray, Norse
SKELPICK, Gaelic sgeilpeach, shelvy, terraces
STRATH-HALLADALE, valley of the holy dale – Gaelic & Norse
STRATHNAVER, in old manuscripts sometimes Strathnavernia and often Strathnavern, valley of the Naver
STRATHY, Strath + water or stream – Gaelic
SWORDLY, sward dale, Norse
SYRE, doubtful, Gaelic Saghair, probably Norse settr
TRANTLE-mòr = Trau-dal = the lower ground through which a river runs, Gaelic & Norse – mòr = big
TRANTLE-beg as above but beg is small

updated 28/02/2016

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