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This map, from 1811, shows all the townships in Braes - Piennachorain, Balmeanach, Glanentailler, Ollachuarach, Ollachiorach, Achaghnahanaid and Conardan

In 1799 Lord Macdonald commissioned John Blackadder to survey his estate and to write a report about it. Blackadder returned 10 years later when Lord Macdonald had decided to change the runrig system on his estate to crofting. Blackadder produced a series of maps usually with at least one map for each township. He showed the existing land (arable, pasture etc) as colour washes, and also most of the settlement. He then added the layout of the new crofts in red ink. Note that the crofts usually do not incorporate all the arable land in each township. He usually gives the total acreage for various areas on each farm in black ink, as well as the area of the new crofts in red ink. These are shown as ARP - which stands for acres, rood and perches. 940 square perches equalled 1 rood, and 4 roods made an acre).

The map shows the ferry between Sconser and Peinchorran (Piennachorain). In the early 1800s the road through the Braes was the main overland route to Portree, as the road via Sligachan was not completed until 1815. Also in the late 1700s - early 1800s, Sconser was the main post office in Skye, as it was in a central site for post to come from all over the island, and then to leave the island via a boat to Lochcarron. The postman then walked to Inverness from Lochcarron.

Place names are spelt differently in every map and document. The surveyors and mapmakers did not have Gaelic so they took down the names phonetically. Similarly the estate clerks often spelt names phonetically as there was no official standardisation until the Ordnance Survey tried to do this at the end of the 19th century.

Clan Donald Library's Pocket Museum is a collection of notes, maps, photographs, illustrations and extracts from the archives which give an insight in to life on a highland estate. Clan Donald Library is located in a purpose built museum, the Museum of the Isles, in the grounds of Armadale Castle. The castle is situated in the heart of an estate, once part of the traditional lands of Clan Donald, on the Sleat Peninsula, in the south of the Isle of Skye.

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Balmeanach Map - John Blackadder, 1811 - 1

INVERNESS: Portree

1810s

Pocket Museum; museums; Clan Donald Library; libraries; estates; Macdonalds; Skye; Armadale; Sleat; maps; crofts; crofting; townships; runrig; Blackadder; Braes; ferries; Sconser; post offices; post; mail; Piennachorain; Peinchorran; zoomable images

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Pocket Museum (maps)

This map, from 1811, shows all the townships in Braes - Piennachorain, Balmeanach, Glanentailler, Ollachuarach, Ollachiorach, Achaghnahanaid and Conardan<br /> <br /> In 1799 Lord Macdonald commissioned John Blackadder to survey his estate and to write a report about it. Blackadder returned 10 years later when Lord Macdonald had decided to change the runrig system on his estate to crofting. Blackadder produced a series of maps usually with at least one map for each township. He showed the existing land (arable, pasture etc) as colour washes, and also most of the settlement. He then added the layout of the new crofts in red ink. Note that the crofts usually do not incorporate all the arable land in each township. He usually gives the total acreage for various areas on each farm in black ink, as well as the area of the new crofts in red ink. These are shown as ARP - which stands for acres, rood and perches. 940 square perches equalled 1 rood, and 4 roods made an acre).<br /> <br /> The map shows the ferry between Sconser and Peinchorran (Piennachorain). In the early 1800s the road through the Braes was the main overland route to Portree, as the road via Sligachan was not completed until 1815. Also in the late 1700s - early 1800s, Sconser was the main post office in Skye, as it was in a central site for post to come from all over the island, and then to leave the island via a boat to Lochcarron. The postman then walked to Inverness from Lochcarron. <br /> <br /> Place names are spelt differently in every map and document. The surveyors and mapmakers did not have Gaelic so they took down the names phonetically. Similarly the estate clerks often spelt names phonetically as there was no official standardisation until the Ordnance Survey tried to do this at the end of the 19th century.<br /> <br /> Clan Donald Library's Pocket Museum is a collection of notes, maps, photographs, illustrations and extracts from the archives which give an insight in to life on a highland estate. Clan Donald Library is located in a purpose built museum, the Museum of the Isles, in the grounds of Armadale Castle. The castle is situated in the heart of an estate, once part of the traditional lands of Clan Donald, on the Sleat Peninsula, in the south of the Isle of Skye.