What will we find? September sees an exciting community archaeological dig at Cnoc an Fhuamhaire ‘the hillock of the giant’ in Kirkapol. Rather than being a giant’s grave, however, archaeologists think that it might be a Viking boat grave. These are very rare in Scotland, and if proven to be true, would be a significant find.
An Iodhlann has put together a project to investigate the mound from 2-16 September 2017. Led by archaeologists Dr Heather James and Dr Colleen Batey, the project will include a geophysics survey of the area followed by a careful dig. This will be a community project, and anyone prepared to give up part of a day or a week will be welcome, and given training in excavation. Or you could just come and have a look. The school will also be involved. If you’d like to help out, contact Dr John Holliday (01879 220385 ; ).
The project is funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund (£10,000), the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (£2,000), An Iodhlann (£1,500) and the Tiree Community Windfall Fund (£500). An Iodhlann is also grateful to Fiona MacKinnon and Argyll estates for permission to dig their land.
We have created two new displays in An Iodhlann. One is about Lady Victoria Campbell, the Duke of Argyll’s sister, who spent some time living on Tiree in the late 1800s, organising skills workshops and classes for islanders and championing improvements to the island. Our other new exhibition is about Tiree postcards (it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds).
An Iodhlann’s 2nd Historical Ceilidh, 17th May, An Iodhlann, 7.30pm. Dr Holliday will begin the session by talking about the Crofters’ War of 1886, a local agitation that contributed to the creation of the Crofters Holdings (Scotland) Act, 1886. But this isn’t a lecture – everyone is welcome to chip in with their own ideas or pet subjects.
An Iodhlann has just heard that the Written in the Landscape project, led by Argyll and Bute Council Archives and the Argyll Papers at Inveraray Castle, will be starting very soon. The funding gap has been completed and Inverary Archives is about to advertise two project archivist posts.
In 2015, a hoard of Bronze Age swords and spears were discovered on the Isle of Coll. They are now being cared for by Kilmartin Museum, but need additional funding to conserve them for future generations of history enthusiasts. If you can help, please click on the image for further information.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has granted An Iodhlann £10,000 to organise the excavation of what is thought to be a Bronze Age, or even Viking, grave at Kirkapol. The excavation will be led by professional archaeologists who will be looking for assistance from local volunteers. Watch this space for more information…
Historical Ceilidh at An Iodhlann, Thursday 23rd March, 7.30pm
Ever wanted to chat about the history of the island? Had any questions or theories of your own? An Iodhlann is going to start a monthly history ceilidh. I will start the ball rolling by talking a bit about Lady Victoria Campbell over a cup of tea and a scone. What sort of woman was she and how much did she do for the island? But this isn’t a ‘lecture’. Everyone is welcome and anyone can chip in with their own ideas, queries or pet subjects.
An Iodhlann’s Chairman, Dr John Holliday, has written and published a new book ‘Longships on the Sand’. Based on some 250 Norse and medieval place-names, this fascinating new analysis demonstrates that the Norse influence on Tiree was intense, profoundly shaping the island from the ninth to the thirteenth century as one of the Outer Hebrides. Available from An Iodhlann at £35.
You can now find the location of your ancestors’ headstones via the graveyard maps on our Tiree Graves website. The maps are in the right-hand column of the website under the heading ‘MAPS IN PDF FORM’. You can zoom in on the maps to find your ancestor’s headstone number.