MHG5407 - Leitir Fura


Letterfurre, a depopulated 'run-rig' township, comprised about 14 ruined house and outbuildings. There are enclosures and extensive lazy-beds in the area.

Type and Period (3)

  • TOWNSHIP (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BYRE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)
  • LONGHOUSE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NG71NW 2 centred on 731 158

(NG 731 158) Letterfurre: shown as township in 1824 (J Thomson's map of Skye 1832) <1>
Visited by OS (A C) 20 January 1961

Letterfurre, a depopulated 'run-rig' township, comprised about 14 ruined house and outbuildings. There are enclosures and extensive lazy-beds in the area.
Observation on this site difficult owing to dense bracken.
Visited by OS (A C) 13 June 1961; Visible on RAF air photographs CPE/ Scot/UK/271 Nos. 4045-6

"Leitir Fura" The last person left this townhip in 1782.
Visited by OS (J L D) 23 June 1963

Two unroofed buildings are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire, Isle of Skye 1881, sheet lii). Twelve unroofed buildings and some field walls are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10560 map (1968).
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 4 December 1996

The site has, since 2000, been open to public access, funded by the Forestry Comission under the Millennium Forest for Scotland programme. In 2000 a walkover survey of the site was conducted. In 2010, as part of a process of re-evaluating the impact of public access on the site, an updated walkover survey was conducted which explored the core of the township settlement and a number of sites and structures in the immediate vicinity of the site.
Some desk-based research was undertaken prior to the survey. The documented history of Leitir Fura is almost non-existent, the written records relating solely to rental roles referring to lets of this area of Sleat between 1733 and
1853. The first documented occurrence of the name is on the Stobie map of 1766, a map detailing MacDonald lands on Skye, where the farm of Lellerfurr lies between the farms of Ardnomarkin to the south-west and Allane to the north-east. After this date Lellurfurre occurs regularly in rent roles with the last recorded entry being in 1853 when the farm was let to John MacKinnon of Kyle. On current evidence the area of Leitir Fura was first let in the early years of the 18th century. If this is taken as the time of lain mac Mhaol Chaluim's death then the burning of the Fura Mhor must have occurred some years earlier, perhaps around the beginning of the 18th century - the settling of Leitir Fura therefore must have occurred during the second half of the 17th century, during his father's time.
Survey of the settlement core has recorded at least two longhouses, with the remains of eight other houses or buildings, and four byres or store houses.
Details of these and their current condition can be found in the report.<2>-<3>

An additional building 6m wide and of uncertain length was recorded during observation of a trench dug between structures 2 and 3. The remains of a hearth was encountered, together with 18th/19th century pottery. The structure seems to be related to structure 2, but pre-dates structure 3, underlying the remains of this building. <4>

Report on the original 1996 offset and plane table survey of the township. Report includes full details and plans of all structures. See related records for buildings recorded outside the 'core' of the township. <5>

Lynn Fraser submitted photographs of some of the township buildings via the Highland HER Flickr group. <6>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NG 7306 1587 (311m by 223m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NG71NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish SLEAT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Investigations/Events (3)

External Links (2)

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