Township: Balephetrish

Map Reference: unknown location

Name Type: gateway

Meaning: The Gate of the Raised Greenswards - Ronald Black in The Gaelic Otherworld.

Other Forms:

Related Places:

Information:The Gaelic Otherworld, ed Ronald Black, p75-6
On the north shore of Tiree there is a beach of more than a mile in length called Cladach a’ Chrògain, well calculated to be the scene of strange terrors. The extensive plain (about 1, 500 acres in extent) of which it forms the northern fringe is almost a dead level, and in instances of very high flood-tides, with north-west gales of wind, the sea has been known to overflow it and join the sea on the south side three miles away, dividing Tiree into two islands. The upper part of the beach consists of loose round stones, a little larger than a goose’s egg, which make – when the tide is in, and under the influence of the restless surf – a hoarse rumbling sound sufficiently calculated, with the accompaniment of strange scenery, to awake the imagination.
An old woman, half a century ago, [i.e. around 1830] asserted that when a young girl she had heard on this beach the bark of the Fairy hound. Her father’s house was at a place called Fidden, of which no trace now remains beyond the name of Cachla nam Fidean (the Fidden Gate) given to a spot where there is no gate. It was after nightfall, and she was playing out about the doors when she was suddenly startled by a loud sound like the baying of a dog, only much louder, from the other end of the shore. She remembered her father having come and taken hold of her hand and running it with her to the house, for if the dog was heard to bark thrice it would overtake them. It made a noise like a horse galloping.

Footnote 243: Cladach a’ Chrògain is the shore of Balephetrish Bay (see note 366); JGC calls it ‘Crogan Beach’ at p. 76. The ‘extensive plain’ to which he refers is An Ruighe (‘the Common Shieling’), generally anglicised as ‘the Reef’’ it is now the location of Tiree Airport. JGC’s Cachla (properly Cachaileith) nam Fidean, ‘the Gate of the Raised Greenswards,’ appears to be in Balephetrish. A fidean is a grassy spot which remains uncovered even at a high tide (Dwelly 1997, p. 434, cf. MacQuarrie 1983, pp. 71), a reference presumably to the occasional flooding of the Reef.



Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: John Gregorson Campbell