Township: Barrapol,Ceann a’ Bharra

Map Reference: Kenavara b

Name Type: building

Meaning: The house of the shepherd; the house of Iain Morrison; or the house of Malcolm of Barrapol

Other Forms: Taigh a’ Chìobair - DMcN

Taigh Ceann a’ Bharra - Hugh MacLean, Barrapol, collected by Ailean Boyd

Taigh Iain Mhoireasdain

Tobhta Chaluim Bharrapol - Neil Brownlie, SA 1975/67.

Related Places:

Information:One day the man of this house had gone digging peats on Ceann a' Bharra, leaving his wife and baby. Two witches (cailleachan-shì) came to the door, wanting the baby ("cho dearg 's tha gruaidhean do leanaibh" - how red your baby's cheeks are, they said). The mother drove them away with burning peat she held with iron tongs - David McClounnan, Balephuil, 2/1996.

Bailtean is Ath-Ghairmean, Townships and Echoes by Niall M Brownlie, Argyll Publishing, 1995, p 72-4:

Under the shadow of Kenavara lay the old village of Barrapol, and a story is told about the spouse of Calum of Barrapol, who was head of the peasantry when Gorten Donald was a farm. On a winter's night when Calum was away from home, his wife was sitting bside the peat fire spinning when two strange-looking men eneterd the house. She realised immediately that they were hobgoblins, and that it was not out of kindness that they had come to visit. When they began to threaten her, she managed to keep them at bay until her husband returned and drove them off. Some seventy or eighty years ago [i.e around 1800] the herdsman who had charge of the cattle on this pasture went to a marriage in the neighbouring village of Balephuil (‘Mud-town’), leaving his mother and a young child alone in the house. The night was wild and stormy; there was heavy rain, and every pool and stream was more than ordinarily swollen. His mother sat waiting his return, and two women – whom she knew to be Fairies – came to steal the child.
They stood between the outer and inner doors and were so tall their heads appeared above the partition beam. One was taller than the other. They were accompanied by a dog, and stood one on each side, having a hold of an ear and scratching it. Some say there was a crowd of ‘little people’ behind to assist in taking the child away. For security the woman placed it between herself and the fire, but her precautions were not quite successful. From that night the child was slightly fatuous, ‘a half idiot’ (leth òinseach). The old woman, it is said, had second sight.

See The Gaelic Otherworld, ed. Ronald Black, p 42.

See Kenavara for another version of this story.
Between the Land and Beinn Cheann a' Bharra, probably in the same place as the old township of Kenvar.

Iain Moireadsan was the great grandfather of Lachie MacDonald, Middleton - DMcN.

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: Donald MacNeill (Dòmhnall an Tàilleir), The Land, 1/1994