National Gazetteer, 1868


Strath - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868


"STRATH, (or Strath-swordale), a parish in the Inverness Islands, Scotland, containing the villages of Broadford and Kyleakin. This parish is straggling, and on the Sound, which separates Skye from the mainland, comprises the islands of Scalpa, Pabba or Pabay, and Longa, with part of the S.E. district of the inland of Skye. It extends in length about 20 miles from S.E. to N.W., with an extreme breadth of 5 miles, and is bounded partly on the E. by the parish of Sleat, and on the other sides by the sea. The hills in the N. are cone-shaped and bare, and several of them exhibit volcanic appearances. The low grounds lie principally towards the centre of the parish. The soil is clay, black loam, and reclaimed moss. Blue limestone and marl are quarried, and large quantities of kelp are manufactured. There are traces of iron-ore and manganese. The coast is indented by many deep bays and sea-lochs, which afford safe anchorage to vessels of any burden. The principal lochs are Sligachan and Ainort to the N., and Eishort, Slapin, and Scavig, with the spar cave of Staithaird, to the S. In this parish are the ruins of three chapels and seven hill forts, also a rocking-stone. The air is moist and foggy, and more rain falls here than in any other part of Skye. The parish is in the presbytery of Skye and synod of Glenelg, and in the patronage of the crown. The stipend of the minister is about £271. The parish church was erected at Bradford in 1841. There is a Free church preaching station, and the Baptists have a chapel. There are a sub-parochial and four other schools. In that district of the parish called Strath-Aird are numerous caves, in one of which the Pretender lodged for some nights in 1746, and another is remarkable for the stalactites and petrifactions which it contains. Two trysts, or fairs for cattle, are held annually on the last week of the months of May and July."

"BROADFORD, a village in the parish of Strath, Isle of Skye, in the county of Inverness, Scotland. It is seated in a mountainous district on Broadford Bay, near the famous spar cave of Strathaird, and opposite the mouth of Loch Carron. Fairs are held here in May, August, and September."

"KYLEAKIN, a village in the parish of Strath, county Inverness, Scotland, near Moil Castle. It is situated in the S.E. part of the Isle of Skye, at the new ferry over Loch Alsh. The village was founded by Lord Dundonald."

"PABAY, an island in the parish of Strath, county Inverness, Scotland, 3' miles N.E. of Broadford. It is situated on the E. side of Skye."

"SCALPA, an island in the parish of Strath, district of Skye, county Inverness, Scotland, 2 miles S. of Raasay, and 6 N.W. of Broadford. It extends in length about 4¼ miles, with a breadth of 2¾ miles. The island is separated from Skye by Scalps Sound, which abounds in excellent oyster beds, and is a noted rendezvous of the herring fleet. The surface is of an uneven character, and has much barren rock, also traces of an old chapel."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003