Township: Hough

Map Reference: Hough 50

Name Type: shore

Meaning: The inlet of Neill's children

This cluster of place-names commemorates a fifteenth-century foundation tradition of how 'Iain Garbh MacLean won back Coll from the MacNeills of Barra' (MacDougall 1937, 45). Iain Garbh's mother had re-married a MacNeill from Barra, who took possession of Coll and imprisoned Iain Garbh. He escaped and fled to Ireland. On returning to Coll with one companion, the Gille Riabhach, he gathered a force and overcame the MacNeills at Grishipol. The defeated MacNeills fled first to Gunna, where many were killed at Sloc na Dunaich 'the gully of misfortune', and then to Tiree (MacDougall 1937, 45-7):
When Iain Garve MacLean of Coll defeated the remnants of the MacNeills at the bloody battle of Bàgh Ghunnnaidh ['the bay of Gunna'], the survivors fled across Gunna sound to a small cover near Urbhaig, hotly pursued by the MacLean galley. The pursuers landed at a small gully known as Sloc na Birlinn 'the hollow of the galley' to this day. As night was falling, the MacLeans hid there till morning. Then they set out to hunt down the enemy, putting them all to the sword. That was how this cove got the name of Port Chloinn Nèill. (Brownlie 1995, 128)

The bodies of the MacNeills were buried below Pulag Chlann Nèill (Angus MacLean, Scarinish, 11/1996, oral source). Their bones were exposed during later building work (Agnes MacKenzie, SA 1969/166).

Other Forms:

Related Places: One of Na Puirt Beaga.


Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: Alasdair MacDonald, Druimasadh, Balevullin, 3/1994