374: Crobeg, Lewis

Crobeg (meaning, in a Gaelic-Norse hybrid, “little fold for sheep”) is a small village on the shores of Loch Erisort, next to Cromore. Across a shallow channel is Eilean Chaluim Chille.

Crobeg was the centre of a tack, or farm, with Allan ‘Ruadh’ Ross, born about 1730, is the first Crobeg Tacksman that we know about. He was married to a sister of Evander Maciver, the Tacksman at Gress. Allan Ruadh was followed by his son, Roderick, bom about 1758 and we know about a family of two sons and two daughters. Ishbel Ross was the mother of Matilda that married Tormod Og Calbost in romantic circumstances.

In 1886, Lady Matheson added the lands of Steimreway, Orinsay and the Shiant Islands, an area of over 3,000 acres, to Crobeg Farm because she could not find a tenant for the Park Sheep Farm. Rather than give land to the landless crofters, she converted the whole 42,000 acres of Southern Park into a deer forest, except for the 3,000 acres she added to Crobeg Farm, which was already a viable unit.

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