A Croft in Caolas

A Croft in Caolas

(83 customer reviews)

Warmest thanks to all who have bought a copy of A Croft in Caolas, and thank you too to those who have posted so many kind reviews.  These are greatly appreciated. The book has sold remarkably well since it was first published in February 2021.  The author, ever an optimist, thought that he would be lucky to sell six copies.  The actual sales figure (to date) is nearer 500!  

As a boy in the 1950s, Donald Meek lived in ‘Coll View’, Caolas, in the Hebridean island of Tiree, with his parents and elderly MacDonald aunts and uncles. He was enthralled by their experiences of life in Tiree, Falkirk, Africa and Canada. Here he brings the MacDonalds and Meeks to life, setting them in their contexts in Tiree and beyond.

Read the first 20 pages here 


This book tells the story of one Tiree crofting family over 250 years.  In the 1770s, Donald’s ancestor, John MacDonald, lived in the joint-tenant farm of Caolas.  When crofts were created in 1804, the MacDonalds moved to their own croft in Àird Deas, Caolas, but economic difficulties in the 1840s compelled the senior members of the family to emigrate to Orillia, Canada, leaving behind two of their children, Hector and Christina.  Through the kindness of his MacLean relatives, Hector MacDonald, the writer’s great-grandfather, obtained the holding on which ‘Coll View’ stands to the present.  Hector and his wife Effie produced a family of ten, seven of whom had to seek employment on the Scottish mainland and across the Atlantic.  In 1913 Hector MacDonald Meek, their grandson and the writer’s father, was ‘orphaned’ by the emigration of his parents to Vancouver, and he too was brought up in ‘Coll View’ by Hector and Effie MacDonald. This alone ensured the continuation of the croft within the family.

Donald Meek reflects on the immense changes and challenges which he has witnessed in his family and community, and describes his own struggle to restore the family holding, now in the capable hands of his elder daughter, Rhoda Meek.

The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs from the family archives and documentary sources.

Shipping Countries: United Kingdom (UK)

83 reviews for A Croft in Caolas

5.0 Rating
1-5 of 82 reviews
  1. Amazing service not only by you but also by Royal Mail!! Recipient delighted with the book, as her family have “roots” on Tiree.

  2. Very interesting as after about 20 years holidaying on the island found this book telling us things we didn’t know

  3. Quick …. very efficient…..enjoyed my books Thank You

  4. This is a wonderful book, interesting and beautifully written. The storyline is fascinating about the family’s history and island connections. I recommend this book and Isle 20 to everyone.

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