Briaclet: breidr, gen. breidhiar; clettr, a broad rocky ridge. The village is not on the ridge but beyond it. This is the application of the word “braighe” in G

Breaclete and Tobson are the only two villages in Bernera to have been continuously inhabited as far back as records go. When Kirkibost and Hacklete were re-settled in 1878 and 1880, some exchange of crofts occurred, especially when older people didn’t want to “break in” new land, and they swapped with young couples.    

Breaclete has given up a lot of ground for the public good, and with the exception of Knock House and Dun Innes all public amenities on Bernera have been built in Breaclete:

The school – built in the 1870s
The Church of Scotland – built late 1870s
The Free Church
The United Free Church (which became the Old Hall)
Before there were boundary fences between either villages or crofts, the common grazings were divided into “Earannan feoir” or shares. Each shareholder has a portion in different areas of common grazing according to the rent paid for the croft – higher rent had bigger shares.

Old Breaclete in snow

Old Breaclete in snow

When the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland amalgamated in the 1920s the first Church of Scotland minister in Bernera, Rev. Duncan Matheson, used the United Free Church building as a dwelling house until the Church of Scotland manse was built in the 1930s. The building was then redundant and it was bought by Dr. Peter John Macleod of Breaclete, who gave it to the Bernera Receation Club, and it was called “The Hall” or the “Eaglais Dhearg” as it was painted red. It was demolished when the new hall was built in the late 1970s.

The old mill at Loch Risay was in use until 1914 and it has recently been restored to working order for the Comunn Eachdraidh.


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