Keose & Glebe Community Walk

On the 19th of August, over 20 current and former Keose and Keose Glebe residents took a grand tour of the two villages, recounting and sharing history, annecdotes, development plans and ideas and more!

From the end of Keose Glebe, via Loch Keose, down to a lunch-stop at the meeting house, around the Ard Mhor and ending back at the Play Area, the group (both old and young) had a great time, and weren’t (too) hampered or deterred by access and bad weather!

A big thank you to Dorcas for her conceiving and organisation of the day, and hopefully this can be a regular event on the Keose social calendar

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Finding The Lost Glebe [4] – Mac an t-Sronaich

Perhaps more is imagined than is actually known, but the story goes that Mac an t-Sronaich was a notorious and shadowy murderer and robber of Lewis legend who was active in Lewis in the early 19th century.

He lived in a cave behind Keose in Lochs that is still known as Uamh Mac an t-Sronaich and he was reputedly the first cousin of Lilly Macaulay Linshader, the wife of Rev Robert Finlayson, Keose Manse. Continue reading “Finding The Lost Glebe [4] – Mac an t-Sronaich”

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Finding the Lost Glebe [3] – The last of the ‘Old Trees’ of Lewis

We do know that the peninsula here reputedly had/has the last remnants of the native woodland that once covered the island before the Vikings ‘torched the earth’.

This remnant was known as ‘Coile Suardail’ or Swordale forest, of which in the present day only a few scrub birch trees remain, clinging to loch and sea margins.

Why this corner remained through the centuries is unclear, but even through to the early 19th century it covered a still significant area.

In c1817, Keose and Swordale were said to have 18 acres of wood. William Macgillivray wrote that year that he went to see:

“a small birch wood near the [Manse]- the only piece of natural wood, or rather shrubbery, in the Long Island”

In 1830 he wrote:

“In the island of Lewis, not far from the manse of Keose, there are the remains of a birch wood, the stunted bushes of which occupy a considerable extent of ground”

Continue reading “Finding the Lost Glebe [3] – The last of the ‘Old Trees’ of Lewis”

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Finding the Lost Glebe [2] – Karl Max and Ewen Campbell

It is surprising to think that the current extent of our Community Estate is maybe in part down to Karl Marx!

A rising public clamour against the ‘monopoly of land’ in the 1860’s and 70’s was then sweeping through the European Continent, and embodied by the London based writings of Karl Marx, not least by the publication of his seminal work—’Capital’.

This consequently prompted a concerned British Establishment to try to rapidly extinguish any spark of revolutionary sentiment in the United Kingdom.

Continue reading “Finding the Lost Glebe [2] – Karl Max and Ewen Campbell”

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Finding the Lost Glebe [1] – The Walled River

Keose Glebe was not always the empty moorland we see today…it was the location of farms (Miavaig, Swordale and Keose), villages (Streangal and Bailenacile(?)) and was traversed by all sorts of cairns and boundarys – both stone and turf.

These walls and dykes were not always constructed with directly paid labour however. The tenants of Keose were forced to collect and transport stone and materials from far and wide, not just for the village wall, but also to build and maintain the boundaries for the farms of Keose and Croigarry.

This was in addition to the rent they paid for their crofts, and the threat of eviction was always present if they failed to comply.

Continue reading “Finding the Lost Glebe [1] – The Walled River”

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The Keose Glebe Buyout: A Personal Reflection

Dear Friends – Known and Unknown,

Greetings to you all on this significant day in the ongoing life of Keose Glebe.

I was deeply touched by the very kind Invitation you sent me, to be with you on this day and for this significant function.

Regrettably this date and your special function clashes with another urgent pastoral duty taking place here in Edinburgh on this same day.

I had promised a dear brother-officer, who had been badly wounded by the IRA and served with me at the Army Scottish Division Headquarters Edinburgh, that that I would be present with him at this special function.

Accordingly, I know you will understand how and why I cannot be with you today and take comfort from the fact that my brother Donalasdair will read my message to you all.

Continue reading “The Keose Glebe Buyout: A Personal Reflection”

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