For many folk on Islay the names of Duncan and Charles MacNiven need no further introduction. They are known as the Kilchoman Bards, BÃ ird Chill-Chomain in Gaelic. For me however their names and history were somewhat of a mystery although my curiosity was sparked when I photographed a memorial (image right) a few years ago on the Kilchoman Road which has the following text:
Erected by many friends to the memory of Duncan and Charles MacNiven - Kilchoman Bards
When I was in contact with someone from the Glasgow Islay Association last weekend to help them out with some pictures, they sent me some documents of their programme for the upcoming annual gathering. Much to my surprise the documents contained a beautifully written biography of the MacNiven brothers by Hugh Smith, part-time editor of the Ileach. It also contained a few pictures of these gentlemen supplied by Etta Shaw, the bards' grand niece. Hugh Smith kindly gave me permission to use his text on Islay Info so now there is another great piece of Islay History available in the ever growing Islay History Section on the Islay Info website.
Tag: kilchoman bards