Horsacleit Lodge

Seeing this photo of the lodge from one of my ‘Contacts’ on Flickr (Contacts are like Facebook Friends or Twitter Followers) inspired me to learn more about the story of the lodge.

I checked what, if anything,  I had previously written and discovered just a passing reference to the name itself being derived from the Norse for ‘Horse Cliff’ (It may also appear spelt as ‘Horsaclett’ or ‘Horsaclete’).

The next port of call was the RCAHMS which provided this Site Record from the Canmore section of their Search Resources . At this point I didn’t look at the Public Contribution to that record.

However, I did find a comment at the British Listed Buildings site.

We are extremely fortunate to be able to access and contribute to these wonderful online resources and my aim in writing this is merely to highlight, & thereby encourage, such collaboration and cross-referencing.

Of course, we are also able to take a ‘virtual walk’ around the area thanks to Google Street View !

North Direcleit looking South-East (ish)

A panoramic view over Direcleit with Scalpaigh (Scalpay) in the distant mist in the left, followed by the closer dark mass of Sgeotasaigh (Scotasay) , the small Eilean a Ghuail at mid-left and finally the  large Eilean Mor tucked behind the tiny, tail-like  headland. The track that snakes its way over the hill between the cliff on the left and the outcrop to the right leads from Cadha (perhaps half-a-mile behind us) to the houses clinging to the shore of Ob Liceasto. It is the path that, for example, the children would have taken each day to attend school in Tarbert. Two ruined buildings lie in the foreground at the right and centre.

SS Oronsay in 1901

This Glasgow-registered ship (ON 111292) was ‘Off Sunk Lightship, River Thames’ on the night of the census. 49 year-old Captain Alexander Ellis from Kincardine, Fife and his crew were engaged upon ‘Foreign Trade’ and this Western Steam Ship Company vessel’s presence is mentioned here .
One member of that crew was 26 year-old George Mackinnon from Harris. He was the son of Mary, a Webmaker (Tweed), of 3 Leachin, perhaps a mile along the road out of West Tarbert towards Lewis.

View along West Loch Tarbert from Leachin

There are two later ‘Oronsay’ ships listed here and the fact that the earlier of these two was built in 1925 leads me to wonder if the 1900-built one had already been lost? I can find no record of the Western Steam Ship Company, either.