Township: West Hynish

Map Reference: West Hynish 32

Name Type: fort

Meaning: This is an unqualified simplex name in ON sætr ‘shieling’ (Cox 1990). This is the only name in sætr on Tiree, and implies the area’s use for transhumance at the start of Scandinavian settlement.
This is a common name in the Norse expansion zone. There is a Sheader on Barra (Stahl 1999, 267); there is a Shader (ScG Siadar) in Lewis derived from ON sætr (Oftedal 2009, nos. 13 and 29; Cox 2002b, 366); there are twenty one examples of Setter in Orkney and Shetland (SP); and Seter is a common place-name in Norway (NG). See notes above for the difference between ON
setr and sætr. Dùn Shiadair may be a hagmark.

Other Forms: OS has Dun Hiader

"Gu clachan Dhuin Shiadair" - Na Baird Thirisdeach, ed. Rev Hector Cameron, An Comunn Thirisdeach, 1932, p247.

Related Places:

Information:Extracts from 'The Gaelic Otherworld' by John Gregorson Campbell, Edited with commentary by Ronald Black, (Edinburgh; Birlinn, 2005), p75:

At the foot of Heynish Hill, in the extreme south-west of Tiree, there is one of those small forts to be found in great-numbers in the Hebrides (and said to have been intended, by fires lighted upon them, to give warning of the approach of the Danes), called Shiadar Fort. In former days a family resided, or was out at the summer shielings, near this fort. The byre in which the milch cows were kept was some distance from the dwelling-house, and two boys of the family slept there to take care of the cows. One night a voice came to the mother of the family that the two best calves in the byre were at the point of death, and as proof of the warning, she would find the big yellow cow dead at the end of the house. This proved to be the case, and on reaching the byre the anxious woman found her two boys nearly frightened to death. They said they heard Fairy dogs trampling and baying on the top of the house.

Fragment of poem related to Dun Shiadair:

Tha mo bhata-sa gun iarain
'S bidh i bliadhna gun dòigh,
O nach maireann nan Fiantach
A dh' fhag an fhead air an òir.
[My boat is without iron, and it will be out of commission for a year. The Fenians, that were, that kept guard on the gold]
SA 1968/31.

'[Duncan] MacLean had the gold...and everybody knew that he had the gold, because he was searching for the gold here and there and getting hold of it...but what has he done with the gold? When he was dead, there was no gold there, whatever he's done with it!' Donald Sinclair, West Hynish, talking to Eric Cregeen on SA 1968.240

Local Form:

Languages : Norse, Gaelic

Informants: OS

Informant 2: multiple