Camuscross Community Steering Group was set up in February 2006, to work on developments for the benefit of the community of Camuscross and surrounding areas. The group has been researching local history and has collected a number of place names from local people. They mounted an exhibition of what they have collected so far at an Open Day on March 1st 2008, when five more names were added to the place name collection.
The crofts and the hill grazings of Camuscross are much smaller than those of townships in surrounding areas; it is thought that the landlord deliberately made the crofts small so that the crofters had to earn additional income by fishing. It is interesting that a lot of the place names which are still known are connected to the shore.
Placenames of Camuscross
Cnoc an Fhreacadain
Hill of the Watch/Look-out
This is said to be where an old beggar woman died when she became lost in a snow storm while crossing Camuscross hill.
Lag nan Ceard
Hollow of the Tinkers (Travellers)
Cachaleith an Lònaid
Gateway of the lane
This was the main gateway for taking cows up to the hill grazings from this part of the village
In the past, the crofters would meet here on Saturday mornings to discuss township matters
Cidh’ a’ Chlachaig
This little stone pier was built during the famine years as a Destitution works – when the starving men were paid in meal for themselves and their families, as payment for building roads and other engineering works. This was common all over the Highlands and Islands.
Sgeir na Banndrach Thearlaich
Skerry of Charles’ Widow
Sgeir a Chairidh
Fishtraps can be found all around the coast of the West Highlands – walls were built across small inlets so that fish were caught as the tide went out
Sgeir a’ Chlachaig
Dùn ‘Ic Mhartainn
Martin’s Son’s Fort
Eilean na Gainmhich
If people needed sand, this was where they collected it
Eilean an Sgadain
Eilean nan Caorach
There are two ruins of houses below this hill, but it is not known if ‘Duncan’ lived in either house, or who he was. As the ruins are outside the township headwall, these were perhaps cottars, who did not have a croft and subsisted on meagre bits of land on the common grazings. There are still clear signs of cultivation rigs or lazy beds near the ruins, a small turf building, two circular turf buildings and the rigs and buildings are enclosed by a turf wall.
Creag Aonghais Mhòir
Big Angus’ Rock
There is a ruin of a house (69370 : 11815) near to this rock, but it is not known if ‘Big Angus’ lived there, or who he was. The house is outside the township headwall so was perhaps the house of a cottar, or from before the time of the creation of the crofts in early-mid 1800s.
It is not known what Corary means. There are remains of old cultivations, enclosures and walls. Hens were kept at Corary, An Ob, (on Camuscross Bay) and above Tobar Ard, (above the High Road) in a time before fences, when the hens had to be kept away from the arable ground, where they could do damage to the crops. A small enclosure (69251 : 12242) might be where people kept their hens – it might have been made using the walls of an older building or house. The old cultivation and enclosures suggest that there was a dwelling somewhere in the vicinity.
Cnoc na Buaile Carnaich
Hill of the Cairn-like Fold
The small hillock is surrounded by an old sod wall – suggesting that it could once have been used to hold animals.
Cnoc na Ceardaich
Hill of the Smiddy
Horseshoes were found in the ground here, while the crofter of this land was making lazybeds for his potatoes
Lòn a’ Bràigh
Drochaid Sheonaidh Fhriseil
Johnny Fraser’s Bridge
It is not known what ‘Ollaig’ means
The ruins of a poorhouse stand here
This is a long natural arch – in other words a cave with an opening at each end.
We are researching the Duisdale School Log Books, (Duisdale is next to Camuscross and was the local school for the area) as these give invaluable information about social history. We will use the log book to research two themes:
1. Rise and fall of population (or at least school age population) . At the annual school inspection, the numbers of school pupils on the roll were recorded. We could also create a more detailed graph of the weekly attendance, by studying the school register - and then compare that with the 'Crofting Calendar' (see below). Click the link below to see the attendance table for 1878 to 1896
2. Particularly of interest to our study is the evidence of what croft and fishing work was being done, when and by whom, which is logged as reasons for school absences. There are school log books covering the period from 1878 to the 1960s, and we hope, eventually, to produce a 'crofting calendar' for the whole period. Click the link below to see the Crofting Calendar for the period 1878-1896. The entries are colour coded to show what activity kept children off school or closed the school, or took place at the school: