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English nameTobar Ceann
Gaelic nameTobar a’ Chinn
Meaningthe well of the head

Location and type of place name

Local authorityHighland ~ A’ Ghàidhealtachd
Parish post 1891
County post 1891Inverness-shire ~ Siorrachd Inbhir Nis
Topographical feature typeRiver/Stream / Abhainn/Allt
Post townIsle of Skye
Postcode areaIV49
OS sheet number
OS grid referenceNG562195
Type of namePlace ~ Àite


Element meaning 
Element type

External Resources

OS maps

Further Information

Language notes 
SourcesThis name was gathered as part of a local research project on the place-names of Strath, Isle of Skye and was published in a booklet by SNH and AÀA. The Following quote appears in that booklet:

“Tobar Ceann, ‘head well’, is known as Tobar a’ Chinn (the well of the head) locally. A story associated with it speaks of a time when if a man died, the family or widow would give a cow to their landlord or to his chief, a practice known as ‘heriot’. This happened to a family in Keppoch. The widow was very poor and she had only one cow. When the bailiff came to the house to take away the cow, the woman did not want to lose it because she had only one and she needed it for herself and her boy. The bailiff mistreated her and he left with the cow. The widow had a son called Donald who was away from the house when this happened. When he returned and saw what had happened to his mother he became very angry, so he went after the bailiff and the cow. He reached them on the road home at Druim an Fhuarain where Tobar a’ Chinn is. A fight ensued: Donald was intending only to hit the bailiff, but he ended up killing him, taking his head off. He cleaned the head in the well and went to the chief and told him what had happened. The chief considered putting him to death, but then he thought to himself and said, ‘well, you killed the bailiff, you must be the bailiff in his place,’ so the boy ended up getting his job.

Another story tells of a man who lived by stealing who killed his own teenage son at this well lest the son inform on him. As the boy stooped to take a drink the father stabbed him.”

Gaelic in the Landscape: Place-names of Strath, Isle of Skye (Scottish Natural Heritage 2015): 48
Additional info 
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