Township: Barrapol,Ceann a’ Bharra

Map Reference: Kenavara 32

Name Type: cave

Meaning:
This is an opaque name. It may be Gaelic:
• ScG ruith verb ‘to run or flow’. There is a Coire Ruithe in North Uist,
and an Alltan Ruithe in Inveraray (SP)
• ScG rùchd ‘rumbling noise’. There are no Scottish place-names to
support this (SP)
It may also be Norse:
• ON hrúga ‘heap’ (CV, 288). This has a fricative -g. In Orkney there is
a Roo in Burness, a Roo Clett on Papa Westray, and a Roo Point on Orphir; on Shetland there is a Roog in Aithsting, two examples of Rooi Geo on Whalsay, and a Rooi Stack in Sandsting (SP). Kolbein Hrúga (hrúga was his byname) was a Norse chieftain who appears in the Orkneyinga Saga, chapter 48. He is said to have built Cubbie Roo’s Castle on Wyre
The less common form ruic encourages a reconstruction from:
• ON hraukr ‘small stack’ (CV, 282). ScG ruc ‘hayrick’ is likely to be a loan word from this (MacBain). Rukkel is a Shetland dialect word meaning ‘untidy heap’ (Christie-Johnston 2010, 63). This is the basis for the Norwegian name Røyken (NS)
• ON reykr (dative reyki) ‘smoke, steam’ (cognate with Scots reek)...in
Iceland local names, Reykir...is frequent, marking places with hot springs’
(CV, 496), possibly here referring to sea spray. A feature of post-Norse
cnoc [kro k]. It is possible that ON reyki [?re? ? ki] > [re? ]. Reykir occurs eleven times as a farm name in Iceland (SAM), and see Reykjavík, but there are no names in Scotland to support this derivation

Other Forms:
Uaimh Ruic or Uaimh an Fhir Dhuibh - Hugh MacLean, Barrapol, collected by Ailean Boyd.

Uaimh a’ Ruith - David McClounnan, Balpehuil; Donald MacKinnon (The Plumber), Sandaig, 12/1995; Donald MacNeill, The Land, 2/1998

Uamh 'n Fhir Dhuibh - 'The Devil's Cave' - Bailtean is Ath-Ghairmean, Niall M Brownlie, Argyll Publishing, 1995, p 155

Related Places:

Information:This is the cave into which the piper and his dog entered. There was a hole in the cave roof through which cattle sometimes fell - David McClounnan, Balephuil, 4/1994.

Extracts from 'The Gaelic Otherworld' by John Gregorson Campbell, Edited with commentary by Ronald Black, (Edinburgh; Birlinn, 2005), p 38:
A man who went to fish on a Saturday afternoon at a rock in Beinn Chinn a’ bhara (Kenavara Hill, the extreme west point of Tiree) did not make his appearance at home until six o’ clock the following morning. He said that after leaving the rock the evening before he remembered nothing but passing a number of beaches. The white beaches of Tiree, from the surrounding land being a dead level, are at night the most noticeable features in the scenery. On coming to his senses, he found himself on the top of the Dùn at Caolas in the extreme east end of the island, twelve miles from his starting point.


“The other cave is a few hundred yards to the south-west...there is no access to it except by means of a rope.” - Handbook to the Islands of Coll and Tiree, Hector MacDougall and Rev. Hector Cameron, Archibald Sinclair, p 101.


Local Form:

Languages : English, Obscure

Informants: David McClounnan, Balephuil, 4/1994

Informant 2: Hugh MacLean, Barrapol, collected by Ailean Boyd

Informant 3: Donald MacKinnon (The Plumber), Sandaig, 12/1995