Township: An Àird a Tuath,Caolas

Map Reference: Aird a Tuath 2

Name Type: shore

Meaning: CLACH ÙL

Clach Chùirr 1878 25 inch 1st edition (John Gregorson Campbell 'A large stone situated between Port Ruadh and An Traighlachan and close to the low water mark. Name means 'Corner Stone') OS1/2/28/117: + ScG cùrr corner' (Dwelly)
A’ Chlach Iùill Angus MacLean, Scarinish, 11/1996: ScG clach-iùill 'loadstone, magnet' (Dwelly)
Clach Ùl, Professor Donald Meek, Caolas, 8/2019 Yes. Always with the long pure vowel /u:/, and never with a diphthong. I tested the ‘iùil’ theory on my father, and he had ‘never heard that pronunciation’. It was never a guiding stone, because of its tidal cover, although I used it as a ‘warning to self’ about the dangers of that area of water, and in that way it ‘guided’ me in my youthful navigational exercises. I composed a Gaelic poem about the ‘Clach’, in which I make the point about my own need for guidance.

Caolas | A large erratic on the beach Am Port Ruadh at the low tide mark. Despite its striking appearance at the edge of a beach, which is a useful harbour, it was not used as a navigation mark. Lobsters used to hide in a pool below it, and could be pulled out at low tide.
A suggested derivation is the Old Norse hylr (dative hyl) 'hole or deep place in a river, e.g. places where trout and salmon lie hidden ... frequently in local name' (Cleasby Vigfusson, 304). The phonetic development y > u is regular, but not y > ù. The initial /h/ of hyl has been absorbed into the terminal /ch/ of clach.

Iola Chruaidh in Loch Broom is described as a 'flat rock on the coast' (OS1/28/35/7) and An Iol Loisgt is a fishing rock in Carloway (Cox 2002, 305); the modern Norwegian reflex of hylr is høl, and Høl occurs seven times as a simplex in Norway (NG); hylur is a common generic in the Faroe islands, as in Fiskhylur (KO); while it occurs four times as a generic in Iceland, as in Berghylur (SAM)

Other Forms: A' Chach Ùl - DM

An Clach Iùil - AMcL The rock of navigation ("yellow, like a standing stone"). Dwelly gives Clach Iùil as 'lodestone' i.e. a naturally magnetic rock

Clach Chùirr - ONB p117, "name means Corner Stone."

Related Places:

Information:Clach Ùl: a striking erratic just below the low tide mark. It is not used as a navigation mark, as far as he heard, but has below it a faiche 'lobster hole'. When I was learning my coastal navigation, I kept a sharp eye out for the ‘Clach’, as it was submerged at high tide, and could be dangerous - DM

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: Angus MacLean, Scarinish, 11/1996

Informant 2: OS

Informant 3: Professor Donald Meek, Caolas (via Rhoda Meek), 3/2016