Isabella MacLean of Kilmoluaig with her cows
Photograph of Isabella MacLean with her cows in Kilmoluaig.
Courtesy of Ms Linda Gowans
Isabella MacLean was photographed with her cows by George Holleyman, an archaeologist in the RAF police posted to Tiree during World War II. Her father was a crofter and fisherman, known locally as ‘The Mate’. Isabella herself was known as Bella Mhate.
She lived on her own in a thatched cottage on her eighteen acre croft in Kilmoluaig. The cottage had an earthen floor and all her furniture, including her box bed, was made from driftwood. Lighting was by oil lamp.
Her income came from a herd of six cattle and a flock of around forty sheep. She also had grazing rights on another croft. Neither croft was cultivated but she grew a small patch of potatoes. Bella was also an expert cheese maker.
Black and white photograph of Isabella MacLean, Kilmoluaig.
Isabella MacLean (Bella Mhate) of Kilmoluaig with her cows, photographed by George Holleyman in the early 1940s.