Township: An Àird a Deas,Caolas

Map Reference: Ardeas 78

Name Type: well

Meaning: There are two plausible reconstructions:
• ON hraun 'bare': 'In volcanic Iceland the word came to mean a lava field when cold, a burnt place ... in Iceland frequently in local names, e.g. Hraun, Hraun-dalr.' (CV, 282) 'ON hrauna, which denotes originally a rough or rocky place, a wilderness' (Jakobsen 1897, 79). Land Capability Analysis divides the ground here between 5.2 and 5.3 (relatively poor land). Turnbull's 1768 survey shows just a small area of cultivated infield, but also locates the farm Kelis Mains in this part of Caolas: 'In the Western Isles the chiefs were legally obliged by the Privy Council regulations of 1616 to keep a mains or home farm ... Probably some, if not all, the tacksmen [kept] some land laboured by their own servants, but seventeenth century references to Mains in the western isles are infrequent' (Shaw 1980, 76)
• A male ON personal name such as R?gnvaldr. This appears once among the earliest Icelandic settlers (Landnámabók 1900, 369). The fact that a sea rock some distance from shore and a farm name (see above) appear to have the same specific might favour a personal name. Personal names, however, are rare specifics in bólstaðr names (see Hilibol; Gammeltoft 2001, 55; Macniven 2015, 198), and the same may also be true of names in ból
The generic is likely to be a secondary settlement ON ból ‘farm’ name as there are a number of other Norse place-names in the township. In particular there is an ON bryggja 'landing site' nearby (see Lìbrig, Caolas), an inlet for loading cargo (see Lònamar), and a name in dalr 'valley or piece of ground' (see Creachasdal). The generic, however, could instead be ON pollr ‘pool or bay’, in which case the head-name would be Raonapoll.
There is a Cnoc Rhaonastil on Islay (Macniven 2015, 147), a Raonasgill in Uig, a Raonapoll on Rum, and an Allt Raonadail in Stornoway, Lewis (SP); Raun- is a common specific among Norwegian farm names, as in Raundalen (OR), a Rognsund in Alta, Norway (NG), and Rønnevik is a farm name in Norway (OR); there are no Icelandic farm names in R?gnvaldr (SAM); Hraun is a common simplex farm name in Iceland, and hraun- is very common as a specific among Icelandic farm names, including Hraungerði, Hraunbær, and one Hraunból (SAM). See Raonabodha above.

Other Forms:

Related Places: Raonabol

North of the 'log cabin' - DK.

They used to make whisky here - AMcL.

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic, Obscure

Informants: Donald Kennedy, Port Ban, 11/1995

Informant 2: Angus MacLean, Scarinish, 5/1996