Callanish Village History

Callanish Village History

  The Story of 12 Callanish   Introduction:   It might be thought that, as a location, Callan... Read more
The Earlier Village

The Earlier Village

Whatever the shape taken by the settlement of Callanish in later years, prior to 1850 it appear... Read more
Callanish Village History

 

The Story of 12 Callanish

 

Introduction:

 

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It might be thought that, as a location, Callanish would have been a place of importance since prehistoric times, if only because of the remarkable groups of standing stones in the immediate neighbourhood. But whatever their significance long ago the stones do not seem to have occasioned a large settlement within the historical period. In the earliest surviving account of Lewis there is no mention of a place called Callanish, nor does the name appear on the first, moderately detailed map of Lewis in the mid seventeenth century. When Martin Martin put together his description of the island around 1700 he wrote mainly about the principal monument, but in the course of his description happened to mention a settlement also:

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Changes at Callanish

Maclennan'sIn the days of the old farm there were many families living in the group of cottages near the farm or tacksman's house. In or about 1820 a total of twenty four such families were listed, including four with the surname of Young. Donald Young had two small children, a son and a daughter, John Young had three children, Murdo two, and a widow Young 3 children. Two other families were MacDonald's. From the parish registers it is clear that well before 1851, the year of the first properly legible census, MacDonald's had been in Callanish for a long time. Among ten separate families lists in that year one may have been that later associated with no.12.

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The Earlier Village


Whatever the shape taken by the settlement of Callanish in later years, prior to 1850 it appears to have been a typical Lewis township unit or baile, with features shared by such places all over the islands and beyond. This meant that an area of land within traditionally understood boundaries was let by the proprietor to a superior tenant called the tacksman, who sublet most of it to subtenants and allowed landless people known as cottars to live alongside the other occupants.

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MacDonalds at No.12 Callanish

In the evening of 17 February 1851 (the year of the census) John Munro Mackenzie, chamberlain of the Lewis estate, set off for Callanish and the following morning he met the tenants of the lots, presumably at some gathering of them there. He gave them emall the necessary information about emigration and on finding that six Callanish tenants were in arrears with their rents, owing in all £26.4s.2d, he decided they and their families, 33 emsouls in total, should emigrate. Five of the families were willing to go.

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The Macivers

According to a rental document belonging to Lord Leverhulme, Angus Maciver (known locally as Aonghas Neill or Cloggy) bought no.12 Callanish from John MacDonald in 1920.

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Picture Framing

Picture Framing

Vegetables and Horticulture

veg

Bee Keeping

Bee Keeping Isle of Lewis