A Quarterland or Ceathramh was a 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). Really? Seriously? As a math dyslexic, my eyes are already crossing….
It also means ‘fourth’ or ‘quarter’.
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.
Tha An Ceathramh a’ ciallachadh the quarter land. B’ e seo cairteal de dhabhach, tomhas sònraichte de dh’fhearann air an cùirte sprèidh.