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St Marys Church, Bornish (geograph 2570109).jpg
Saint Mary's Church, Bornish
Bornish is located in Outer Hebrides
Location within the Outer Hebrides
LanguageScottish Gaelic
OS grid referenceNF739298
Civil parish
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtHS8
Dialling code01878
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°14′35″N 7°24′22″W / 57.243°N 7.406°W / 57.243; -7.406Coordinates: 57°14′35″N 7°24′22″W / 57.243°N 7.406°W / 57.243; -7.406

Bornish[1] (Scottish Gaelic: Bòrnais) is a village on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Bornish is also within the parish of South Uist.[1] The A865 passes through Bornish, on the route between Lochmaddy and Lochboisdale.[2]


The construction of nearby Dun Vulan broch has been dated to the period 150–50 BC. Located on the coast, it was originally 10 metres (33 ft) in height, but is now reduced to walls of 1.52 metres (5.0 ft). A Pictish house was later built within the walls.[3]

Dun Vulan broch

Excavations of a Norse settlement nearby have provided important information about lifestyles during this period. It suggests that pigs were a more important aspect of Viking farming than prior to that time, that red deer numbers may have been "controlled" rather than the species simply being subject to hunting, that herring fishing became an important commercial consideration and that trade with centres to the south such as Dublin and Bristol may have been important. Coins found at Bornais and nearby Cille Pheadair were produced in Norway, Westphalia, and England, although there were none from Scotland.[4] Ivory from Greenland was also found there.[5]

It is known that Hebrides were taxed using the Ounceland system and evidence from Bornais suggests that settlers there may have been more prosperous than families of a similar status in the Northern Isles, possibly due to a more relaxed political regime.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Details of Bornish". Scottish Places. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  2. ^ "A865/route". Sabre. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  3. ^ "South Uist, Bornish, Dun Vulan". Canmore. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  4. ^ Sharples and Smith (2007) pp. 113–14, 119
  5. ^ Sharples and Smith (2007) p. 120
  6. ^ Sharples and Smith (2007) p. 104, 109, 124
  • Sharples, Niall and Smith, Rachel "Norse settlement in the Western Isles" in Woolf, Alex (ed.) (2007) Scandinavian Scotland – Twenty Years After. St Andrews. St Andrews University Press. ISBN 978-0-9512573-7-1

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