The Rough Bounds

(Na Garbh Chriochan)

A physiographic district of West Inverness-shire, The Rough Bounds (Gael: Na Garbh Chriochan) lie between Loch Hourn and Loch Shiel, and comprises Moidart, Arisaig, Morar and Knoydart. Its principal settlement is Mallaig but, away from the coast, the area is noted for its rugged terrain and wilderness, which is sparsely populated and generally remains inaccessible. Historically, these were MacDonald lands, but by the 16th C. ownership was divided and disputed between the MacDonalds of Clanranald and the MacDonnells of Glengarry. The 'old religion' (Roman Catholicism) held favour here into the 18th Century and beyond, resulting in this being a centre of support for the Jacobites. Prince Charles Edward Stuart (1720-88) raised his standard at Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel, marking the start of the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. Its failure brought repression of the Clan system and new Government-supporting landowners who cleared the land for sheep and as sporting estates, sending thousands of people from the Rough Bounds to the growing industrial cities and to Canada.

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