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Pabbay, Bailenacille

Kiln Barn(S) (Post Medieval), Knocking Stone (Medieval) - (18th Century), Township (Post Medieval)

Site Name Pabbay, Bailenacille

Classification Kiln Barn(S) (Post Medieval), Knocking Stone (Medieval) - (18th Century), Township (Post Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Kirktown

Canmore ID 10385

Site Number NF88NE 6

NGR NF 8870 8681

NGR Description Centred on NF 8870 8681

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/10385

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Harris
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NF88NE 6 centred on 8870 8681

(Centred NF 886867) Bailenacille - 'Kirktown' - a hamlet which was deserted between 1850 and 1877, except for one house still occupied. Ordnance Survey Name Book 1877

This depopulated village comprises the extant remains of 17 buildings ranging in size from 16.5 x 4.5m to 6.6 x 3.0m internally, with walls 1.5m wide and 1.0m high. Also associated with these buildings, and in some cases attached to them, are the remains of 7 dry-stone enclosures. In two of the buildings a corn-drying kiln has been built at one end - these kiln buildings were among the smallest in the settlement, measuring 8.2 x 3.5m internally. All the buildings are of 'blackhouse' type with rounded angles.

Visited by OS (R B) 29 June 1965

A township and a farmstead are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire, Island of Harris 1881, sheet xxi). The township comprises twelve unroofed buildings, two enclosures and two phases of head-dyke. The farmstead comprises two roofed buildings, one partially roofed building and a sheepfold.

One roofed, thirty-six unroofed buildings, eight enclosures, some sheep pens and two phases of head-dyke are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1971).

Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 20 March 1997

Activities

Field Visit (29 June 1965)

This depopulated village comprises the extant remains of 17 buildings ranging in size from 16.5 x 4.5m to 6.6 x 3.0m internally, with walls 1.5m wide and 1.0m high. Also associated with these buildings, and in some cases attached to them, are the remains of 7 dry-stone enclosures. In two of the buildings a corn-drying kiln has been built at one end - these kiln buildings were among the smallest in the settlement, measuring 8.2 x 3.5m internally. All the buildings are of 'blackhouse' type with rounded angles.

Visited by OS (R B) 29 June 1965

Desk Based Assessment (25 May 1965)

(Centred NF 886867) Bailenacille - 'Kirktown' - a hamlet which was deserted between 1850 and 1877, except for one house still occupied.

Information from OS (ES) 25 May 1965

Ordnance Survey Name Book 1877

Field Visit (25 June 2011)

The largest and most important settlement on Pabbay, at Bailencille, occupies gently pasture land close to the S shore of the island and comprises the dispersed buildings of a pre-Improvement township as well as those of the mid-19th century farmstead that replaced it.

Many of the rectangular buildings are blackhouses, some with attached enclosures, but there are also ancillary buildings and a small number of kiln barns. The best-preserved buildings are situated towards the W side of the township and those on the E, in the vicinity of the comparatively recent sheep enclosures (NF 8890 8694), are generally more poorly preserved. The most notable of these, however, is a rectangular building (NF 8959 8699) situated 20m to the N of the church, which measures about 30m from NW to SE by 10m transversely. It sits atop a subrectangular grass-grown mound along with several banks and what are probably storage pits.

Some of the buildings in the SW part of the township are described individually (see NF88NE 6.1, NF88NE 6.2 and NF88NE 6.3).

Bailenacille was one of three townships on the island that were cleared in the 1840s so that the associated lands could be turned over to sheep (Lawson 1994). Several buildings standing immediately SW of the church were retained for use by the shepherds and their families and by 1878 this farmstead included three roofed buildings, a series of sheep fanks, a larger enclosure to the NW and a long, well-constructed dyke that parcelled off a large area of ground to the SW. The construction of the fanks and stock enclosures resulted in the robbing of stone from earlier buildings in the immediate vicinity (NF 8881 8700), some of which are now only visible as footings. A smaller shepherd’s house and barn were constructed in the 20th century.

Visited by RCAHMS (GFG) June 2011.

Measured Survey (22 May 2019)

HES Survey and Recording undertook a UAV survey of Baile na Cille on 22 May 2019 consisting of the capture of 144 vertical aerial photographs from a DJI Inspire 2 UAV with an X7 Zenmuse camera. No GNSS data was captured.

The data was subsequently used to generate an image-based 3D model using Agisoft Metashape Pro software. The project archive includes the imagery (UAV Sortie 2019/7), the dense point cloud (txt/laz), an orthomosaic, a slope visualisation and metadata.

Visited by HES Survey and Recording (GFG), 22 May 2019.

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