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Bernera, Inverness-shire

Historical Description

BERNERA, an island, in the parish of Harris, island of Lewis, county of Inverness; containing 713 inhabitants. This isle, with the isles of Pabbay, Killigray, and Ensay, constituted the quoad sacra parish of Bernera. It is situated in the sound of Harris, and is about four miles in length and one and a half in breadth, comprising 3545 acres of arable and 1310 of pasture land. The surface is rocky, principally whinstone, and the soil mostly of a sandy quality, interspersed with patches of moor; the tenants have a small portion of ground called a croft, and two tenants have each about 330 acres. The manufacture of kelp partly employs the population; and fish, chiefly ling, cod, and skate, are obtained at certain seasons. Fairs for black-cattle and horses take place in July and September. The parish was in the presbytery of Uist, synod of Glenelg, and in the patronage of the Crown; the stipend of the minister is £120, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £1 per annum, with the right of cutting peat. Bernera church was erected in 1838. There are some remains of religious houses on the island.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis