Township: An Àird a Deas,Caolas

Map Reference: Ardeas 300

Name Type: sub-township

Meaning: The south headland. All promontory names in Ard 'promontory' were collected by the Ordnance Survey in the masculine form Àrd, rather than the feminine Àirde: Ard Mòr (OS/1/2/34/84/39); Ard Beag (OS/1/2/34/84/45); An t-Ard (OS/1/2/34/84/96); Cist an Àird Mhòir (OS/1/2/34/84/205). This may be because of the bias of the main informant, Rev John Gregorson Campbell. This was also common in Argyll generally - e.g. Rudh' an Aird Fhada on Mull (OS/1/2/21/13) - although feminine forms are also common - Rudha na h-Airde Moire on Islay (OS/1/2/34/84). Names collected more recently on Tiree do sometimes have a feminine form. See Markús 2012, 519 and 522

ScG caolas ‘firth, straight’ (Dwelly) refers to the passage between the east end of Tiree and Gunna. There is a settlement in the west end of Coll with the same name, known on Tiree as Caolas Cholla. In 1354 the MacDougalls renounced all land on Tiree except three ouncelands at the east end (probably Caolas, Ruaig and Salum) in favour of the MacDonalds. As well as being a large landholding in itself, this gave them control of the island’s best harbour at Milton, the inlet used for loading the island’s cattle at Lònamar, and Tiree’s most powerful mill.
Holm ocrach and Holm ycrach appear on the Blaeu map of Lewis. Keulis Yc is therefore ScG ìochdarach ‘lower’ (see ScG Am Baile Ìochdrach ‘the lower township’ of Caolas, Black 2008, 507), and Keulis ocr the ScG uachdarach ‘upper’. The Turnbull map also subdivides Caolas into two parts: Kelis and Kelis Mains (today’s An Àird’ a Deas). Today the township is divided into three parts:
• ScG An Àird’ a Tuath ‘the northern promontory’, or Lower Caolas, Hector MacPhail, Ruaig, 4/1994 (oral source)
• ScG An Àird’ a Deas ‘the southern promontory’
• Milton (see Gazetteer)

Other Forms: Kelis Mains - The Turnbull Map of Tiree 1768 and accompanying survey text.

Ardess (1785) - Argyll Estate Instructions, ed. Eric Cregeen, Scottish History Society, 1964

Ru na Kelis - The map of Adam Black, 1862, NLS

Aird-a-Deas - Na Baird Thirisdeach, ed. Rev Hector Cameron, An Comunn Thirisdeach, 1932, p307.

Fearann Na h-Àirde a Deas, Croit Nèill Ailein

Related Places:

'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 17th century references to Mains in the Western isles are infrequent.' 'The Northern and Western Islands of Scotland', Shaw 1980, 76

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: multiple