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South Dell

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years ago


The placename 'Dell' means valley or glen and therefore the village of South Dell is south of the glen, where the Dell River can be found.  Sensibly enough the village of North Dell can be found to the north of the Dell River!




The word "dell" is of course an English word, and one that has only recently been introduced when referring to Scottish placenames which have as their real name "dail".  In fact, the use of "dell" as an English translation of "dail" is arbitrary and inconsistent, and relatively scarce -  eg Dail Beag (on the west-side of Lewis) is written in English as "Dalbeg", and not "Delbeg".  See?  There are dozens of examples that spring to mind, like Gleann Dail (in the Isle of Skye) is never translated as GlenDell, etc.  Dail is actually closer in meaning to the word "dale" which was subsumed into standard English, and - here's the key - is from the old Norse words dal and dalr.  The Scandinavians had these islands for 3 undivided centuries.  Finally, the word "valley" is one that I have nothing against, but it is a topographical term that is already well catered for in Scotland by the words "Glen" - originally from the gaelic "gleann" - and when the "valley"  (- as they quite rightly say in England - ) has a kind of broad flat inverse-plateau floor to it, then it's a "Strath" as in Strathspey, strathAird, etc....  South, North, and Aird "Dell" are collectively still referred to by indigenous non-youngsters in our own language as Na Dailean - ie the Dales.


As well as the main village of South Dell, Aird Dell and Graham Park also form part of this village.  There are about five houses in Aird Dell.  Graham Park is a Council scheme of about 20 houses.  Graham Park was named after the former Councillor Mrs Graham who served the area in the 1960s.


There are several self catering cottages in South Dell including Allt Ruadh Cottage in the main village and Aird Cottage in Aird Dell.


Dell Beach can be accessed by a path through the croft at 37 South Dell.  After 200 metres you will see a pointer and a wooden gate in Croft 36, to the left.  Go through the gate and walk along the right side of the field - it's a meadow for silage - through a three foot gate at the top of a little hill, and then you can see the sea.  The foot path is signposted from the beach end, too, in case you are on the coastal path.


In August 1891 a crofter named Murdoch MacIver discovered a bronze sword whilst digging on this croft. Then in February the following year, whilst digging in the same spot he discovered part of a second sword.  Both Swords can now be seen in the National Museum. ( The swords were actually found over in Aird Dell, in peat, and the find was around 1950, 1891 probably being Murchadh's birth year)




Click Here for Maps of the Area


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