Quarterland

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A Quarterland or Ceathramh (Scottish Gaelic) was a Scottish land measurement. It was used mainly in the west and north.

It was supposed to be equivalent to eight fourpennylands, roughly equivalent to a quarter of a markland. However in Islay, a quarterland was equivalent to a quarter of an ounceland. Half of a quarterland would be an ochdamh(ie.one-eighth), and in Islay a quarter of a quarterland a leothras(ie.one-sixteenth).

The name appears in many Scottish placenames, notably Kirriemuir.

  • Kerrowaird – Ceathramh àrd (High Quarterland)
  • Kerrowgair – Ceathramh geàrr (Rough Quarterland)
  • Kerry (Cowal) - An Ceathramh Còmh’lach (The Cowal Quarterland)
  • Kerrycroy - An Ceathramh cruaidh (The Hard Quarterland)
  • Kirriemuir – An Ceathramh Mòr/Ceathramh Mhoire (either "The Big Quarterland" or "Mary’s Quarterland")

Ceathramh was also used in Gàidhlig for a bushel and a firlot (or four pecks), as was Feòirling, the term used for a farthlingland.

Isle of Man[edit]

The Isle of Man retained a similar system into historic times: in the traditional land divisions of treens (c.f. the Scottish Gaelic word trian, a third part) which are in turn subdivided into smaller units called quarterlands[1].

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • This article incorporates text from "Dwelly's [Scottish] Gaelic Dictionary" (1911).