Tag Archives: shebeens


Colour-printed scans of documents from the Argyll Papers, Inveraray Castle, displayed in An Iodhlann during the ‘Written in the Landscape’ exhibtion, 2019:

1. Sketch of the set of Tiree attempting to show where tenancies of 4 Mail Lands are practicable, 22 March 1803. (Ref: Argyll Papers PFV 65/75)

2. Statement showing the number of tenants and cottars and the livestock held by them on the Island of Tiree in 1848. (Ref: Argyll Papers NRAS 1209/3035)

3. Plan of the farm of Kenavay in the island of Tirii now divided into thirteen farms nearly to four male lands each, surveyed and divided by George Langlands, 1802. (Ref: Argyll Papers PV19/04)

4. List of men levied in the Island of Tiree for the Regiment of Fencibles of Argyllshire, 1759. (Ref: Argyll Papers NRAS 1209/324)

5. Plan of encroachments made upon the Reef by the taxman of the farm of Balephetrish… [by George Langlands, ca 1802]. (Ref: Argyll Papers PV 19/08)

6. Roll of arrears for tenants in Tiree in 1764. (Ref: Argyll Papers PFV 65/32)

7. Account of cash expended by the Bailie of Tiree on recruiting for the West Fencibles, summer and harvest 1778. (Ref: Argyll Papers NRAS 1209/324)

8. Sales brochure for Tiree, 1904. (Ref: Argyll Papers NRAS 1209/2766)

9. Letter from MacDiarmid to the Duke dated 1884 regarding shebeening women. (Ref: Argyll Papers NRAS 1209/906/10)

10. Letter from MacQuarrie to Wylie dated 1876 regarding Flora Lamont of Balephuil selling whisky. (Ref: Argyll Papers NRAS 1209/907)

11. Letter dated 1847 from Lord Lorne to Lord Grey about those Tiree inhabitants who can and cannot afford to emigrate. (Ref: Argyll Papers NRAS 1209/1531)

12. Postcard showing Kenavara Point from Dun Hiader, undated. (Ref: Argyll Papers Acc 2016/01)

13. Letter dated 1806 from Malcolm McLaurine, Tiree, describing the progress of Langland’s survey of the island. (Ref: Argyll Papers NRAS 1209/401)


Photocopy of a typed transcript of an interview with Hector MacPhail, Cornaigbeg, on 19 May 1992, about himself, boats, sea transport and sailors, with particular reference to Allan MacFadyen, Scarinish, and ships the Mary Stewart and the Mary & Effie. Topics also include alchohol taxation, violence, Clearances, landowners, hotels, Crofters’ War, coal puffers. The interviewer is given only as ‘Smith’.


Notes regarding audio recordings made on Tiree in 1972 and 1974

Two folders of handwritten notes made by Eric Cregeen while he was recording Tiree people speaking onto cassette tape during 1972 and 1974, plus a map of Balephuil, Balinoe and Barrapol annotated with the names of people living in each house. People recorded in notes: Donald Sinclair, Hector Kennedy – Balephuil, John Brown – Balephuil, John MacLean – Kilmoluaig, John MacLean – Cornaigbeg. Subjects covered include ancestry, Gaelic prose and songs, people living nearby, second sight, place names, shebeens, building construction, poverty, weather, schools, food, shops, water supplies, emigrants, rents, skeleton, confrontations, ferries and ships, literacy, crofts, Pairc na Coille, wars, Land Leagues, churches, illnesses.


Mini-disk SA1953/85.

Hector MacLean (Eachann Ban) talks about funeral customs; the story of `Blar nan Sguab`; a premonition of cars; the building of the wall at Crossapol; stories of a hand and a money box and about stealing the goodness from milk; stories about fairies, water-horses and mermaids; how emigrants had to leave their cattle at Island House; spinning sìoman; harvest customs; Iain Kennedy and his stories; droving; coal boats; whisky making; a story about a wolf and a fox; shebeens and his work as a steward.


Audio cassette recording of Angus Munn and Neil Johnston of Heanish talking to Dr John Holliday in November 1998.

Angus Munn and Neil Johnston of Heanish talk to Dr John Holliday in November 1998 about their schooling and teachers, delivering telegrams, the last trip of the Mary Stewart, the start of WWII, the police service during the war, the mine that damaged the Bank House, the Embarkation Unit and the Fighter Block at Heanish, Preston Potts, a trip to Scapa Flow, the police station at Heanish, shebeens, Clann Alasdair in Baugh, the Malve, horses, Cornaig police station, ceilidhs and the Reading Room.


Audio cassette recording of Donald Iain Kennedy, Balephuil talking to Maggie Campbell in 2000.

Donald Iain Kennedy of Balephuil talks to Maggie Campbell in 2000 about the people he remembers in Balephuil, the shop, fishing and the skill of the local people, the places he would fish from, the weather, second sight, healing powers, the ministers in Balephuil, a fatal accident, the local poets and the songs they wrote, shebeens, teachers and school, and tells stories about the old people. Tha Dòmhnall Iain ’Ic Ualraig a Baile Phuill a’ bruidhinn ri Magaidh Chaimbeul ann an 2000 mu na daoine aig am bheil cuimhne aige a bha ann am Baile Phuill, am bùth, iasgach agus sgil nan daoine-ionadail, na carraigean far am biodh e ag iasgach, an tide, an dà shealladh, comas leighis, ministearan Bhaile Phuill, tubaist-bhàs mhòr, na bàird ionadail agus na h-òrain a sgrìobh iad, ‘shebeens’, tidsearan agus sgoil; tha e ag innse naidheachdan mu na seann daoine.


Audio cassette recording of Alasdair MacArthur, Balemartine recorded by himself.

Alasdair MacArthur (Alasdair Sheumais Alasdair) talks about the island of Tiree starting with the beauty of Happy Valley then going through the townships naming shops, hills, churches, harbours, shebeens, lochs and schools and describing the different views; Alasdair also recites two poems composed by himself, one called A’ fàgail Thiriodh and the other in memory of the people named on the War Memorial in Scarinish. Tha Alasdair Sheumais Alasdair a’ bruidhinn mu Eilean Thiriodh tòiseachadh le maise a’ Chlèit an sin a’ dol troimhe na bailtean ag ainmeachadh bùthan, beanntan, eaglaisean, puirt, ‘shebeens’, lochan agus sgoiltean agus toirt cunntas air na diofar sheallaidhean; tha Alasdair a’ gabhail dà rann a’ sgrìobh e fhèin, aon dhiubh A’ fàgail Thiriodh agus am fear eile mar chuimhneachan air na daoine a tha ainmichte air fas-charn a’ chogadh ann an Sgairinis.


Audio cassette recording of Hector MacPhail talking at Vaul Golf Club on 31/1/1997

Hector MacPhail talking at Vaul Golf Club on 31st January 1997 about Clydesdale horses on Tiree, Tom Barr, the Scottish Horse Regiment, his great-uncle Archie MacDougall, Tiree blacksmiths, shoes and clothes made on Tiree, weaving and carpentry, graveyards and tacksmen, Sir Donald MacLean, Tiree place-names, UK boxing championship Donald Lamont, shebeens and whisky distilling, peat and seaweed, emigration, fishing and Hynish pier, local boat-building.