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Kershader, Lewis

Kershader, Lewis

Kershader is a village of 12 crofts on the south shore of Loch Erisort, opposite the village of Laxay in Kinloch. The name of the village is of Norse origin, possibly referring to 'shieling of the marsh or thicket'. Shader is Norse for shieling, a shed at some distance from the main farm and at summer pastureland. Ker may represent either thicket, overgrown marsh or deer.

Early History

Dr Caird's Geographical Study of Park (1958) notes:

the first documentary evidence of settlement from the Judicial Rental System in 1718 shows tacksmen or major tenants living in Habost, Seaforthhead and Eilean Chalum Chille and there is local tradition that Kershader and Marvig were shielings. In 1775, there were four tenants in Kershader, but their place of origin is unknown. In 1805, five tenants are recorded, two of them from Uig; by 1824 there were 10 tenants.

The earliest beul-aithris or tradition suggests that around the 16th century Nighean Amhlaigh, (Aulay's daughter) stayed on a settlement, the ruins of which can be seen beside the foreshore on No 4 Croft. She evidently occupied the eastern half of the village and the grazing to the Garbh Allt, the stream that forms part of the Kershader-Garyvard village boundary. Loch Totaichain Amhlaigh is the name of a large loch above Kershader and Airidh Totaichain Amhlaigh is the name of the àirighean or shielings by the loch, the foundations of which can still be seen to this day. In more recent times the three shielings were used by local people: Airigh 'an Mhòr - John Macleod No 3 Kershader; Airigh 'an Grabhair No 1 Kershader; Airigh Chalum Dhonnchaidh - Malcolm Macleod No 2 Kershader.

There are two other shieling settlements above the village. These were all used from a fixed date each year when all the livestock had to be moved from the villages to allow the crops to grow. At that time there were no fences to keep the livestock off the crops and a Cuairteach was employed to stop the animals from drifting back to the village.

Donald Mackay's report of 1953 states:

The forebears of the present crofters of the village came from Park at the clearances, & the Mackays of Gravir and 3 Kershader came from Eishken (Mackays of Eishken, one brother and five sisters).

Satellite image

 

Comunn Eachdraidh na Pairc, the local historical societies, offers a number of publications on this and other villages; see the society's webpage for contact details. 

 

Title: Kershader, Lewis
Record Type: Locations
Gaelic Name: Cearsiadar; Ceirseadar
Type: Village/Township
Grid Ref Easting: 134172
Grid Ref Northing: 920246
Record Maintained By: CEP
Subject Id: 1426