Past & Present

Resettlement from Scarp to North Harris

By 1841 the population had almost trebled to 129 and by in 1881 it peaked at 213. The rise in population combined with the limitations on cultivable land, was making conditions very difficult for the people of Scarp. The records of the Napier Commission from 1883, attest to the pleas being made to allow resettlement on mainland Harris. The factor of the time, a Kenneth Macdonald, proposed emigration.

Thankfully, in 1885/86 several families from Scarp were allocated crofts on mainland Harris, a few each in Luachair and Dìreasgal by the shore of Loch Reasort, and others in Beadarsaig, Gòbhaig and Leosabhagh, not far from the road to Hùisinis. Somehow, more than 25 families eked out a living on Scarp until after the 1st World War when four families left and moved to Cliasamol, and others left to make a living further afield.
By Jill Harden, 2013

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