Township: Barrapol,Barrapol

Map Reference: Barrapol 7

Name Type: sub-township

Meaning: This may be one of the earliest Scots place-names on the island. Sc Land has a number of meanings, including, ‘soil which has still to be turned over by the ploughshare; arable land as opposed to pasture; [Samuel Johnson, in his Journey to the Western Isles in 1775, wrote] ‘according to the different mode of tillage, farms are distinguished into long land and short land. Long land is that which affords room for a plough, and short land is turned up by the spade’ (DSL). See also Milton in Gazetteer
It may be, however, that this is a Gaelic, and now English, loan-name from the Norse. There are at least three possibilities for this unqualified simplex name:
• ON lundr (dative lundi or lund) ‘grove, common in place-names...these places were connected with the worship of groves’ (CV, 399). An example is at Lund on Unst (Waugh and Brooke-Freeman, in Turner et al. 2013, 10), where there is a surviving significant twelfth century Norse church (but no groves). Lund(e) is a common farm name in Norway (OR), and Lundur occurs eight times as a farm name in Iceland (SAM). However, although there was a Norse and Christian burial site and chapel near The Land, Tiree (see Barabol), this site did not develop into a significant later medieval ecclesiastical centre
• ON land ‘land, estate’ (CV, 370). There are about 2,000 qualified compound Norwegian place-names in -land, for example Rogaland (Særheim, in Gammeltoft et al. 2005, 216). ‘In Shetland land is common as the second part of a compound, e.g. de Bakkalands’ (Jakobsen 1936, 76). There is a Friesland on Coll, which Johnston derives from ON land. She goes on to quote Marwick, ‘in general [land names] are substantial farms...without doubt very early settlements’ (Johnston 1991, 122). Land is a common generic in Orkney, for example Holland < Hàland ‘high land’ (Sandnes 2010a, 122). There are no documentary records, however, of a settlement of this name on Tiree. Land is not common as a simplex name on its own. There is only one other example of Land as a simplex in Scotland, at the Norse-sounding Middlebie in Dumfriesshire (SP); there is a Land in Søndre Land, Norway (NG) and Land(e) is recorded three times as a farm name in OR. It does not occur in Iceland (SAM). Simplex ON Landir names are rare in Norway and are thought to date from the Bronze Age (Særheim, in Gammeltoft et al. 2005, 228)
• OI lön ‘row of houses’ (CV, 406). London occurs five times as a name in the Northern Isles; Lönd occurs four times as a farm name in Iceland (SAM)

Other Forms: Land Lag an t-Seagail - NB.

Related Places:

Information:Donald's grandfather came to the Land and built a house - DMcN [?1870/80 -JH]

Local Form:

Languages : English

Informants: Donald MacNeill (Dòmhnall an Tàilleir), The Land, 1/1994

Informant 2: multiple

Informant 3: Neil Brownlie, Barrapol, 3/1995