45003: Eishken, Lewis

Eishken lies on the north shore of Loch Shell at the centre of the Eishken Estate.

In 1766, the first known reference to a village at Eishken indicated as sublet to Donald Macneill, a sheep farmer from Ardminish, Argyll. Subsequently the village was let to Rory Maclennan (1773). After the breaking up of the farm at Pairc, “Iskin and Stimerway” were let to Alexander Maciver Jr, a merchant in Stornoway (who sublet to fishermen and kelp-workers) and by 1787, to tenant to John Ross, also a merchant in Stornoway.

By 1807 Eishken had been lotted as seven crofts, with the following the tenants:

  • Rory Bain (Mackenzie)
  • Norman Doune (Nicolson)
  • Donald Doune (Nicolson)
  • Norman Bard (Macmillan)
  • John Roy (Mackenzie)
  • Roderick Mackenzie
  • Donald Mackenzie Mackay

In 1814, there were 10 tenants

  • Rory Bain
  • Angus Macnicol
  • Donald Macnicol
  • Norman Macmillan
  • John Mackenzie
  • Donald Mackay
  • Roderick Mackenzie Sr
  • Roderick Mackenzie Jr
  • Roderick Kennedy
  • Donald Macnicol Sr

By 1820 there were 14 tenants, and a Murdoch Macleod “not in rental”:

  • John Maclean
  • William Mackenzie
  • Rory Mackenzie
  • William Macleod
  • Murdoch Mackenzie
  • Murdo Mackay
  • Donald Mackay
  • Malcolm Nicolson
  • Angus Nicolson
  • Donald Nicolson
  • John Macmillan
  • Murdoch Macmillan
  • Norman Macleod
  • John Mackenzie’s Widow

When the village was cleared in 1833, all the families dispersed to Gravir, Steimreway, Balallan, Orinsay and Grimshader. The area is now a sporting estate.

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