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Bhaltos Peninsula

INTRODUCTION

The Bhaltos Peninsula, the area of the Bhaltos Estate, has always been a rich, densely settled part of the Isle of Lewis.

The name comes from the Old Norse language that was spoken, along with Gaelic, 1000 years ago in the Outer Hebrides. 'Valt às' means 'high ridge' – the name probably described the appearance of the peninsula as you approached it from the sea, perhaps coming in from Loch Roag.

 

 

 

From the Middle Ages, 500 years ago, it was known as the Fourteen Penny Land. Originally, a 'penny land' was an area of land that had to pay a silver penny in tax or rent – its size varied depending on how agriculturally productive the land was – and a holding that paid 14 pennies was valuable indeed. Perhaps this is why oral tradition tells us that it was an important settlement area for one of the important mediaeval clans of Lewis, the MacAulays of Uig.

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