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Bracadale, Inverness-shire

Historical Description

BRACADALE, a parish, in the Isle of SKYE, county of INVERNESS, 12 miles (S. E.) from Dunvegan, containing 1824 inhabitants. This parish is washed on the south and south-west by the sea; it is about twenty miles in length and eight in extreme breadth, and comprises 13,189 acres, of which 4878 are arable, and the remainder pasture and hill-grazing. The coast extends for about sixty miles, and is very irregular, being indented by numerous arms of the sea, and, though occasionally flat, being in most parts bold and rocky, and the beach very rough and stony. At the southern extremity is the headland of Rhuandunan, and towards the west, Tallisker-head, at the southern entrance of Loch Bracadale, which, and Loch Eynort, are the principal harbours, both affording convenient and secure anchorage to vessels of any burthen. The chief islands are, Soay, on the south-east; and Vuiay and Taarner, situated at the month of Loch Bracadale, opposite Tallisker-head, to the north. In the interior the surface is generally hilly, and the most conspicuous eminences are part of the range of Coullin, highly picturesque in appearance, and stretching along the boundary between this district and Strath. A few detached fields are to be seen adjacent to the coast, but the low grounds and valleys are chiefly in that district called Minginish, where the vale of Tallisker is particularly celebrated for its beautiful scenery. The parish is for the most part pastoral, and about 4500 sheep, and 450 head of black-cattle, are annually exported; the soil near the bays is sandy or clayey, but in some of the lower grounds remarkably fertile: the small portions under tillage are always let in connexion with pasture. The annual value of real property in the parish is £3921. The inhabitants generally are exceedingly poor, and upon the lowest scale with respect to clothing and food. The road from Inverness to Dunvegan passes through the district, and there are post-offices at Struan and Carbost. At Carbost is a celebrated distillery, the only one in the Isle of Skye. A fair for the sale of black-cattle and sheep is held at Sligechan on the third Tuesday in September. Ecclesiastically the parish is in the presbytery of Skye, synod of Glenelg, and in the patronage of the family of Macleod of Macleod: the minister's stipend is £158. 6. 8., of which half is received from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe of thirty acres, valued at £15 per annum. The church, built in 1831, is conveniently situated near the public road, and contains between 500 and 600 sittings. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church; also an episcopal chapel, a neat building, erected in 1838, and containing accommodation for about 200 persons. A missionary is supported by the Royal Bounty, and the parochial school affords instruction in Gaelic, English, writing, and arithmetic; the master has a salary of £28.

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