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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:

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Rosshall is in Lairg, a neighbouring parish to Rogart, eastward in Sutherland(shire).

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.

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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.

[MacLeod Cairn] 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 Highland Clearances

{*} [MacKay Hall] {*} [Heritage Hall] {*} [Copyright (C) 1996] {*}



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