Township: Heylipol

Map Reference: Heylipol 300

Name Type: township

Meaning: This was on the Balinoe side of Croit Mhurchaidh - Alasdair Mòr MacDonald, Kilmoluaig, 12/1999.

Modern oral tradition regards this as an alias for the whole township, as shown by the modern road signs. There is no documentary evidence, however, that it has ever been a settlement name. Informants are likely to have been influenced by John Gregorson Campbell's derivation of the name as ScG An Cruaidh-Ghoirtean 'the hard or stony field'. His record as a 'consultant' to the Ordnance Survey in 1878, however, showed that he often gaelicised Norse names (see chapter 3).
ScG goirtean 'field' (Cox 2002, 332; see Goirtean below) is a very common element in Argyll place-names. There is only one example of 'X + goirtean' on SP: Fuar Ghoirteanan in Torosay, Mull. There are seven examples of 'Cruaidh + generic' in Scotland, mainly in Argyll: for example, Cruaidh Bharr, North Knapdale (SP).
However, this is convincingly a Norse name from ON krú, a side form of kró (plural krúar) ‘small pen ... in which lambs, when weaned, are put at night (CV, 356; see Crowrar, Sandnes 2010a, 107):
ON krú, kró ‘pen’ is a loan from the synonymous ScG crò. It is one of the extremely rare Celtic loan words to become productive in ON place-name formation. Most examples in the material are simplex formations ... The word kru appears in Norway, but with a strictly limited distribution in parts of Trøndelag in central Norway. I was born in this area, and to me kru conveys the sense ‘small enclosure’ (used of a pen directly attached to the shieling cow-stable). The word could have been loaned directly from Gaelic, but an indirect loan through the Norse settlements in Scotland seems more likely. (Sandnes 2010a, 83)
The generic is ON steinn ‘standing stone’: Krúarsteinn. There is one prominent standing stone today in Balinoe but in the past within Heylipol's boundaries, called ScG A’ Charragh Bhiorach ‘the sharp standing stone’.
The stress pattern, with its emphasis on the first element, does not help distinguish between the two reconstructions, as the Tiree Gaelic examples with an inverted word order, such as Cnù-Lochan 'horse-shoe shaped small loch' in Caolas and Dubh-Chladach 'the black shore' in Kilmoluag, also have stress on the first element.
There is a Cruester on Bressay, Shetland (SP); Stine-Crooni on Rousay has been derived from ON steinn + króin (Marwick 1995 (1947), 71); while Croo Back in Orkney has been derived from kró + bakki 'slope' (Sandnes 2010a, 182). See Cròdhabrig.

Other Forms: Croy-Gortan, John Gregorson Campbell in Black 2008, 58: 'In a footnote JGC explains Croy-Gorton as Cruaidh-Ghortain ‘Stone-Field’ ... An Cruaidh-Ghoirtean, perhaps more literally ‘the Hard Field’ and pronounced An Cruairtean in the west of Tiree, is simply the Gaelic name for the township of Heylipol' (Black 2008, 334)
'Another village Cruaidh-Ghortain [two miles from Cornaig]', JGC in Black 2008, 282
An Cruairtean, Brownlie 1995, 102: 'the Gaelic name An Cruairtean is a contraction of An Cruaidh-ghoirtean 'the hard field'
Cruairtein, John MacLean, Cornaigbeg (Iain Alasdair Iain) talking to Eric Cregeen on SA1975.208:
JMcL: ‘Cruairtein, Cruairtein! Whether that’s the right Gaelic or not, that was how it was pronounced on Tiree, as far back as I can remember.’
EC: ‘Would the old people use that word instead of using Hilibol?’
JMcL: ‘Yes they would, in my younger days.’
Cruairtein, John Maclean, Cornaigbeg, SA197137, located by the informant to the northern part of Heylipol, around ScG Ùtraid Thèarlaich Eòghainn ‘the side-road of Charles the son of Hugh' [NL 970438]
Cruairtein, Donald MacKinnon, Hough, 8/2015 (oral source)
Cruairtein, Alasdair MacDonald, Kilmoluag, 12/1999 (oral source). He explained the name as coming from An Cruaidh-Ghoirtean 'the hard field'. He places this feature on the south side of Heylipol, on the Balinoe side of ScG Croit Mhurchaidh 'the croft of Murdoch' [around the Balinoe standing stone at NL973425]
An Cruairtean, Murdina MacDonald, Kilmoluag, 8/2015 (oral source)
An Cruairtean Heylipol, modern road sign

Related Places:


Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: multiple