Township: Barrapol,Barrapol

Map Reference: Barrapol 300

Name Type: township

Meaning: There are at least four possibilities for the specific:
• ON barr ‘barley’ (Gammeltoft 2001, 301; see also Baroot, Marwick 1929, 49) (CV, 53: cognate with Sc bere). There is an area of the township called ScG Lag an t-Seagail ‘the hollow of the rye’. There is a Barrusta in Nord-Fron, Norway (NG); Barbøl is recorded in OR
• ON barð ‘verge, edge of a hill...in compounds hólbarð...frequently in local names of farms in Iceland’ (CV, 51). See Barr in Macniven 2015, 196, and see also Bharra below; Barden and Bardal are quite common names in Norway (NG); and Bardu in Norway derives from this (NS) ON varða ‘beacon’ (see Cinnabhara, the possible primary settlement in the area). ‘Intervocalically, ON -ð- is replaced by hiatus, for example in ScG fadhail’ (Cox 2007b, 68)
• ON and OI barar ‘hand-barrow, funeral bier’ (CV, 51). This is topographically plausible, as there was a graveyard in the township. ‘On the machair, close to the Barrapol march fence, is the old Christian burial ground of [ScG] Cnoc a’ Chluidh ‘the knoll of the burial ground’. It has long disappeared under the fine sand blown from the open banks by the fierce Atlantic gales’ (Brownlie 1995, 66). “Cnoc a’ Chluidh, I think it will actually be in Barrapol. There’s an old burial ground there. Not so very long ago you could see some of the stones there. I saw these personally” (Angus MacLean, Scarinish, SA1976.123). Nearby is ScG Bruach na h-Èiginn ‘the slope of grief’ (Hugh MacLean, Barrapol, 3/1994; Hugh MacLean, Barrapol, collected by Ailean Boyd – oral source), where women left the men on a coffin’s journey to the graveyard. There may also have been evidence here for pagan Norse burials. ‘At Balameanach [Middleton] (just south of another old Christian burial ground, Cnoc a’ Claodh) was to be seen the greater portion of a horse’s skeleton, with some fragments of pottery, only one bit patterned. Towards the south end, not far from the Kenavara boundary wall...is a most remarkable sight – a level circle of about twelve yards in diameter, closely strewn with small stones (most of them broken), and containing in its centre another circle of forty eight inches across, regularly paved with rounded quartz pebbles’ (Beveridge 1903, 139). This stone construction is no longer visible. ‘In other ways the making of [Norse] graves was elaborate and widespread, and usually achieved with stones, which range...to complex settings in an enormous variety of shapes. The latter includes kerb rings, circles’ (Brink 2008, 261). There are no Icelandic farm names to support this reconstruction (SAM)
Given that this became a significant settlement name, the generic is probably ON ból ‘farm’, but Gammeltoft also suggests ON pollr ‘a pond, a small rounded bay’ (Gammeltoft 2001, 301). The Turnbull map of 1768 shows the large Loch Bharrapol, which was drained around 1800, on the north side of ScG Loch Phuill ‘the loch of the pool’. The head-name, if this was the case, would be Barrapoll.
Barabol later grew eastwards to include the settlements of ScG Goirtean Dòmhnaill ‘the field of Donald’, and Baile Mhic ‘Eotha’.

Other Forms: Barapole, 1509 ER xii, 217
Bairrepoill, 1541 ER xvii, 647
Barrepoill, 1638 RMS ix, 828
Barrabol and Loch Barrabol, 1654 Blaeu (Pont)
Barrepoill, 1674 Retours ARG, 82
Barrabol, c. 1734 van Keulen, Zee-Fakkel
Barapole, 1794 Cregeen 1964, 38
Barrapoll, 1878 OS 6inch 1st edition 1878

Related Places:

Information:Extracts from 'The Gaelic Otherworld' by John Gregorson Campbell, Edited with commentary by Ronald Black, (Edinburgh; Birlinn, 2005), p246:

Three years ago a man who claims to have the second sight was on his way home at night to Barrapol, in the west end of Tiree, from the mill (which is in the centre of the island) with a sack of meal on his back. He laid down the sack and rested by the wayside. When swinging the burden again on his shoulder he observed a figure standing beside him, and then springing on the top of the sack on his back. It remained there, rendering the sack very oppressive, till he reached home, some miles further on.
Footnote 848: Compare how the Fairies would increase the weight of a deer beign barried off the hill until a knife was stuck into it, pp. 15, 24, 70-71. ‘Three years ago’ will mean c. 1871.


The present township is divided into three - Barrapol, Goirtean Dòmhnaill and Baile Mhic 'Eotha'.

There are 16 crofts - NB.

Local Form:

Languages : Norse