Township: Kenovay

Map Reference: Kenovay 300

Name Type: township

Meaning: Head of the bay

This derives from ScG Ceann a’ Bhàigh 'the promontory or end of the bay', with ScG bàgh a loan word from ON vágr (see Bàgh above) and presumably referring to Balephetrish Bay. Kintra on Islay derives from *Ceann Tràgha 'the end of the beach' (Macniven 2015, 166).
It is possible that this might have been re-semanticised by later Gaelic speakers (see Ceann a' Bharra below) from an older Norse name derived from ON kinn 'cheek' (see Ceann a' Bharra below) and ON vágr 'bay': Kinnarvágr. There are no cognates of this in Norway or Iceland, however.
There is a Kennavay on Harris, and a Ceann a' Bhàigh on Lewis and North Uist (SP).

Other Forms: Kenbay oc. [occident west] and Kenbay ycrach - The map MVLA INSVLA in the Atlas of Scotland, Atlas Novus, by Joan Blaeu, 1654. These maps were largely based on work by Timothy Pont who mapped Scotland between 1583 and 1596. NLS, 123.

Kenovay - Tiree Rental 1747.

Kenovay - The Turnbull Map of Tiree 1768 and accompanying survey text.

Ceannabhagh - Typed List of Inhabitants of Tyree and their Age in September 1779.
Taken from an unknown publication, 1998.201.1

Related Places:

Information:Extracts from 'The Gaelic Otherworld' by John Gregorson Campbell, Edited with commentary by Ronald Black, (Edinburgh; Birlinn, 2005)

p 40:
A man on the farm of Kennovay in Tiree saw the Fairies about twelve o’ clock at night enter the house, glide round trhe room and go out again. They said and did nothing.

p 58:
About four generations ago a native of Cornaig in Tiree was out shooting on the Reef plain, and returning home in the evening, at the streamlet which falls into Balefetrish Bay (near Kennovay) was met by a Fairy dame. He did not at first observe anything in her appearance different from other women, but, on her putting over her head and kissing hi, he saw she had but one nostril. On reaching home he was unable to articulate one word. By the advice of an old man he composed, in his mind, a love song to the Fairy. On doing this, his speech came back.

p 250:
It is in fact part of the creed in the second sight that a person should never indulge in strong wishes, lest he overstep proper bounds and wish that providence has not designed to be. Such wishes affect others, especially if these others have anything of the second sight.
A young girl in Kennovay, Tiree, holding a bowl of milk in her hands, expressed a wish a certain woman (naming one, who was a taibhsear) had the bowl to drink. Next day the woman indicated in the wish told the girl she had a sore time of it all night keeping the bowl away from her lips.

The old boundary between Kenovay and Balephetrish can be seen in an old stone dyke south east of the house of Margaret McDowell - Hector J Campbell, Corrairigh, 12/1996.

Local Form:

Languages : Norse, English