A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2022.

It has taken much time and money to make the six-volumes of Groome's text freely accessible. Please help us continue and develop by making a donation. If only one out of every ten people who view this page gave £5 or $10, the project would be self-sustaining. Sadly less than one in thirty-thousand contribute, so please give what you can.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry Arrow

Bracadale, a hamlet and a parish in the W of Skye, Inverness-shire. The hamlet lies at the head of Loch Bracadale, about ½ mile E of Struan hamlet, and 28½ NW of Broadford; and Struan is in the parish, and has a post office under Portree, and an inn. The parish is bounded N by Duirinish, E by Snizort and Portree, SE by Strath, S and SW by the sea; and it includes the islands of Soa, Wia, Haversay, and Oronsay. Its length is about 20 miles, its extreme breadth is about 8 miles, and its area, exclusive of foreshore, of water, and of waste tracts, is about 73,189 acres. The coast, about 60 miles long, is flat in places, but mostly is high and rocky, and is much intersected by sea-lochs and bays. Loch Bracadale, the largest and most north-westerly of these, penetrates 6 miles north-eastward, ramifies into intricate outline, embosoms four islands belonging to the parish, affords safe and commodious anchorage to vessels, and is engirt with rich variety of ground. The tract along much of its SE side breaks sheer to the water in cavernous cliffs, and terminates at the loch's month in Talisker Head, the boldest and loftiest headland in Skye. Loch Harport deflects from the upper part of the SE side of Loch Bracadale; extends about 4 miles, in direction nearly parallel to the sea coast; peninsulates the NW end of Minginish district; and also affords safe and commodious anchorage to vessels. Talisker Bay, 2 miles SE of Talisker Head, is a small inlet, but looks into a sheltered fertile vale. Loch Eynort, 5 miles SE of Talisker Bay, penetrates Minginish to the length of 3½ miles, and is sometimes a resort of vessels. Loch Brittle, about 4 miles further SE, is not a safe harbour. The coast over most of the distance from Talisker Bay to Loch Brittle soars into cliffs often 700 feet high, streaked with cascades, and in some parts is confronted with high rocky islets, all more or less picturesque, and some of them pierced with romantic natural arches. Loch Scavaig, about 4 miles SE of Loch Brittle, is about 8 miles long and 4 wide; penetrates among the Cuchullin Mountains; and presents a most imposing scene of wild and dismal grandeur. Soa and Wia islands are inhabited; but Haversay and Oronsay serve merely for pasturing cattle. The interior of the parish is prevailingly hilly and partly mountainous, and it terminates, at the SE, in a portion of the unique, curious, darkly sublime groups of the Cuchullin Mountains. Several vales in Minginish, and several detached fields in other parts on the coast, are almost the only low flat lands. About 4878 acres are arable, and about 68,311 are hill pasture. Numerous mountain torrents rush to the sea, and frequently occasion inconvenience and even danger to persons travelling from one part of the parish to another; but not one can be called a river. The only noticeable antiquities are ruins of two circular towers. Carbost Distillery stands at the head of Loch Harport. Bracadale is in the presbytery of Skye and synod of Glenelg; the living is worth £198. The parish church, built in 1831, contains 516 sittings; and there is also a Free church. Three public schools -Carbost, Soa, and Struan-with accommodation for 70,30, and 60 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 39,16, and 33, and grants of £55,9s., £18,2s., and £17,14s. Valuation (1881) £6713, of which £6329 belonged to Norman Macleod of Macleod. Pop. (1801) 1865, (1831) 1769, (1861) 1335, (1871) 1113, (1881) 922.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better