704: Kirkibost, Lewis

From Place-names of Lewis and Harris by D Maciver F.E.I.S.

Kirkabost: kirkja, church; bost, a dwelling place. Some of the church wall is still standing. Six score years back it was occupied. The name is Old Norse and much later than the Lewis cells.

The name Kirkibost refers to the church, St. Marcel.

Kirkibost and Ballaglom were lotted by Chapman in 1805 and they were the earliest lottings in the Outer Hebrides. James Hogg “The Border Poet” who was in Stornoway in 1805 is recorded as saying that “he couldn’t meet Chapman as he was in Uig parting some land”. The Rent-roll of 1807 for these two villages is the earliest of its kind. The 1853 Ordnance Survey map shows the Chapman lottings were almost exactly followed when the people came back.

The boundary between Kirkibost and Ballaglom moved around a bit. At one time the boundary was the stream at Dun, and certainly in 1807 there were only 24 crofts in Kirkibost and 11 in Ballaglom. Today there are 26 and 4 respectively.

Kirkibost was cleared in 1823 when it became part of the Linshader farm. A lot of families went to Point, some to other villages in Bernera, some to the West side and seven or eight families moved to Bosta. Kirkibost was re-settled again in 1878, with many of the families in Bosta moving back there.


Families in Kirkibost lived in the following crofts:

Macaulay: 1, 2, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 26

Macdonald: 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 22, 24, 25

Macinnes: 20

Maclennan: 3, 5, 8, 10

Morrison: 4

Gillies: 6, 20

Smith: 18

Satellite image

Kirkebost should not be confused wtih Claddach Kirkibost in North Uist.

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Kirkibost Pier

Kirkibost Pier