Stories in an Island Landscape

Welcome to the Tiree place names website.  I hope it will prove interesting for islanders, visitors, those of Tiree descent around the world and place name scholars. Place names are a short hand for stories about a landscape and I have included these where I have them. There are also a number of personal names and there may be some information helpful to those searching their family trees. This site has been designed to be searched in a number of ways – by township, by language (for example Gaelic or Old Norse), by name type (for example coast or hill), by the element in a name (for example eaglais, a church; cnoc, a hillock; or Dòmhnall, Donald) or by words in the accompanying stories. For those not familiar with modern Gaelic spelling, the beginning and ends of words often change depending on the shape of the phrase. [map of Tiree]

Caolas Salum Ruaig Brock Milton soay Kirkapol Vaul Gott Scarinish Heanish Baugh The_Reef Kenovay Balephetrish Cornaigbeg Balevullin Cornaigmore Kilmoluaig Hough Moss Heylipol Crossapol Balinoe Balmartine Mannal Hynish West Hynish Balephuil Kenavara Barrapol Middleton Sandaig Greenhill Kilkenneth

For example Dòmhnall, Donald, becomes Dhòmhnaill, of Donald or Donald’s. You can get round this by searching for the central part of a word, in this case –omhna-. The search will work with or without accents – for example ò and o will produce the same results.

This collection has been assembled in humility by an immigrant, English-speaking general practitioner. It is presented in an open, democratic site based on WordPress. Comments, stories, corrections and derivations are very welcome from anyone. Please send them via the link at bottom of the page. Contributions to the site will be moderated by me. I have been collecting Tiree place names over the last 25 years, and I can only say thank you to all those who have put up with my endless questions and those who have tramped the shoreline with me. Two islanders have been particularly generous to me – Angus MacLean, Scarinish, and David McClounnan, Balephuil. I would also like to pay tribute to Professor Donald Meek, Niall Brownlie, Dr Ronald Black, Ailean Boyd and Iona Brown for their time and scholarship. ONB signifies the Ordnance Survey Name Book prepared for the first edition in 1878. I thank too Mark Vale, Balephuil, who has created the site. There will be mistakes, and I accept full responsibility for them. Please let me know and I will correct them.

Dr John Holliday, An Iodhlann, Tiree’s historical centre.