The croft of Rossal in Rogart is often confused with Rosshall in the Parish
of Lairg, and with the village of Rossal in Strathnaver. Notes re
Rosshall and the village of Rossal follow:
Rosshall is in Lairg, a neighbouring parish to Rogart, eastward in
Two daughters of John MacKay of Rossal in Rogart (emigrated to Earltown
with brother Neil MacKay) married sons of Hugh MacKay of Doula in Lairg,
who had come out to Earltown some years later. After the death of his
wife, Arrabella, Hugh MacKay braved the long Atlantic crossing to spend
his final years with his family in Nova Scotia.
Rossal is one of the villages in Strathnaver that were cleared during the
Highland Clearances. Rossal has been
preserved, as much as possible as it was following the days of the
burnings. The rest of that area has been forested.
Cairn to Donald MacLeod, who wrote fervently of the injustice of the
Highland Clearances [JPG; 20K] [Janet MacKay photo: 1983]
The village of Rossal is on the other side of the River Naver, behind the
cairn. The descendants of the four-footed clansmen, the sheep which
replaced our ancestors on the land, are still there.
Donald MacLeod was born at Rossal, Strathnaver, the son of William
MacLeod, a farmer and stonemason under whom he also served his
apprenticeship. Donald was about twenty years of age when Rossal was
cleared. At 11 o'clock that night he climbed a hill and counted:
250 blazing houses. Many of the owners were my relatives and all of
whom I personally knew; but whose present condition, whether in or
out of the flames, I could not tell. The fire lasted six days, till
the whole of the dwellings were reduced to ashes or smoking ruins.
During one of those days a boat lost her way in the dense smoke as
she approached the shore; but at night she was enabled to reach a
landing place by the light of the flames.
For more information of this dreadful time, see
[Copyright (C) 1996]