Lochiel Summary



Principal Sources


RSS I (3559) 1526

RSS II (2994) 1539

RSS VI (1067) 1570-1

RMS II (2201) 1493-4, (2281) 1495 & ALI pp 197-9 1492

RMS III (534) 1527-8, (699 & 713) 1528

RMS IV (854) 1553

AS I (329) 1651, (606, 648, 651) 1675

AS II (1096) 1663


D Bruce’s rental of Lochiel 1748-9 in E768/1 & E768/2/1(1)

M Campbell’s rental of Lochiel 1755 in E768/2/5/1 & E768/2/4

E768/56/1(1) Rental of Lochiel 1770

E768/56/3(1) Rental of Lochiel 1774

E786/50 – Lochiel, Callart & Ardsheall : Plans & Estimates 1774


R Pringle, State of the Process of Valuation of … Lochiell, 1761, MS copy in West Highland Museum

W Morison, Report on … Annexed Estate of Lochiel, 1772, copy in Fort William Library

RHP 6591


J Munro (ed), The Lochiel Inventory, Edinburgh, 2000, pp 18, 29, 56, 93, 103-5


RW Munro, ALI No 7 pp 10-11, No 73 pp 107-9

Inverness Retours (16) 1606, (21) 1608

JG Gibson, Back o’ the Hill, Edinburgh, 2008



Documents refer to Lochiel as a £20 (=30m) land. There is some ambiguity about how we should interpret the grant referred to in RMS I (520), CD I pp 502-3 and Robertson’s Index p 136 No 18:


sexaginta marcatis terre in partibus de Lochabre videlicet de decem et septem denariatis terre de Loche de dimidia davata terre de Kylmalde et de una davata cum dimidia de Locharkage

(60m in Lochaber viz. 17d of Loche, half a davach (10d) of Kilmallie and 1½ davachs (30d) of Loch Arkaig)


This is referred to in RW Munro, ALI No 7 pp 10-11 and dated 1346 x 1372-3. There are two reasons why I think that Lochiel is meant here. Firstly, I have not come across ‘Loche’ as a territorial designation in any other context and secondly, early spellings of the river-name Lochy sometimes include a ‘t’. The implication in the document is that 57d = 60m so the exchange rate here seems to have been 1 ounceland = 20 marks.


Lochiel did not include Torcastle even though this is on West side of River Lochy.


Even if Lochiel was once composed of pennylands they have all vanished, as have any place-names associated with them. Our merkland valuations are quite late and only give a total of 24½m and not the 30m there should notionally be. Since there has obviously been a good deal of amalgamation and attrition I have supplied, in a separate table, lists of all the farms that once made up the estate. We are fortunate in that Lochiel was specified in documents held by two different sets of claimants, the Camerons and the Macleans.


Part of the reason why we find fewer than 30 merklands may be that the lands of Craigag (and conceivably Callop) were, at some point, transferred to the Ardgour estate. JG Gibson discusses some of the issues in chapter 8 of his book ‘Back o’ the Hill’. On p 131 he argues that Culinap was for Cul a’ Chnaip which “was an early descriptive of Callop farm”. This is attractive but in 1761 Pringle gave ‘Cuilcraip’ as part of Drimnassally, which introduces some doubt. On p 132 Gibson identifies Cregag with Clerechaik or Clachak. I think Clachak is likely to have taken its name from Meall Clachach and An Clachach which lie on the west bank of the Dubh Lighe. I could well believe that Craigag represented a southern portion of Clachak which was detached and transferred to Ardgour.


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