Place name of the week: Applecross - A’ Chomraich

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Applecross in 1958.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Applecross in 1958.

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This name, whilst seemingly of English origin, is a reinterpretation of an earlier Aporcrossan. This is a Pictish name, meaning ‘confluence of the Crosan river’.

Applecross River is in Gaelic Abhainn Crosan. The Gaelic form of the name today is A’ Chomraich ‘the sanctuary’ after the church land of Maol Rubha who founded a church here.

There are other names with the element Aber- in Scotland, e.g. Aberdeen, most of which are in the South-East. It is possible there were once many more Aber- names in the West. This one remained perhaps precisely because of its remoteness: it was for many years more easily approached by sea than by land. That it was considered more as an island than mainland is reinforced by the fact that Gaelic speakers refer to being in Applecross as air a’ Chomraich ‘on Applecross’ a preposition often used for islands.

For more information on this name visit Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba

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