47172: Upper Carloway, Lewis

Mullach Chàrlabhaigh

Upper Carloway is a township of 51 crofts, two of which are subdivided. It lies on the north side of the River Carloway, which divides it from Knock Carloway. Park Carloway, which is also on the north side of the river, is sometimes considered part of Upper Carloway but has a separate record on this website. The name Carloway is from the Norse and probably means Carl’s Bay.

A standing stone, Clach an Tursa, similar in appearance and probably in date to the famous Callanish Stones, is located at Upper Carloway. Clach an Tursa measures 7′ 6″ in height, 2′ 11″ across the south-western face, while it is about 1′ 10″ thick. To its north east at a distance of 3′ is a long prostrate pillar stone, broken in two and partly buried, while a somewhat similar stone, also broken in two, lies 11′ west of the upright column.

There are also three large mysterious round stones lying on the Carloway grazings, which would seem to be in deliberate alignment, but nothing is known of their function. One is called Clach Druim Thoraig and the other two are in Gleann Domhain and Bràighe Chàrlabhaigh.

Oral tradition tells us that one of the casualties at the battle of Harlaw in 1411 was the “Red Priest” from Carloway. It is said that he lived at a place called “Na Ceallan”. Some years ago, a large hollowed stone like a baptismal font was found in that area. The stone is held by Museum nan Eilean.

The district football pitch is located at Cnoc a’ Choilich, Park Carloway. It was created in 1935 and re-surfaced and upgraded in 1991, making it one of the best in the island. Carloway Football Club played Rangers Football Club at the official opening in June of 1991!

In Park Carloway, in 1857, a Ladies Association School (Sgoil nan Ladies) was established. By 1865, a total of four schools were in the area. A good number of subjects were taught In Sgoil nan Ladies and one of the later teachers there was Ranald MacDonald who became first headmaster of the new Carloway Public School when it opened in 1882.

As stated above Upper Carloway has 51 crofts, while in Park Carloway there are five crofts and the Free Church Manse glebe.

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Upper Carloway and Park

Upper Carloway and Park