<![CDATA[The Elanvow Preservation Fund - Elanvow Preservation]]>Sun, 12 Nov 2017 10:30:26 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Rocks, Shops, and Cows]]>Sun, 29 Oct 2017 21:34:37 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/rocks-shops-and-cowsAfter capturing what we could find on references for Eilean a' Bhogha and Eilean a' Bhùth, we returned to research the popular, but (we think) least credible Eilean a' bho or Island of the Cow.  We will publish articles on this shortly, with a more comprehensive treatment in the upcoming HES report, but we welcome any information of pre-1962 sources for that name.

Most of the internet sources that mention "Island of the Cow" seem to reference (directly or indirectly) either Wikipedia or other sites who reference Calder and Lindsay's "The Islands of Loch Lomond".  The Wikipedia content was entered by MacRusGail in 2008 and we have been trying to locate the author with no success.  We had a nice conversation with Lynn Lindsay and she provided sources for her 1983 dissertation that preceded the book (published with her father Sinclair).  From that, the earliest written reference we have found so far that suggests Eilean a' bho is in I.M.M. McPhail's "A Short History of Dumbarton" (1962).  There is speculates that it was "probably derived from Eilean A' Bho (the island of the cow)" without source or reference.   So far, the Calder-Lindsay book was the earliest to suggest that the name might be Island of the Cow based on Macfarlanes' skill for rustling, but after reviewing the current research, Ms. Lindsay wrote "the cattle rustling derivation of the name certainly doesn’t stand anymore".

We also still have had two Gaelic scholars tell us that "Eilean a' bho" is grammatically incorrect.  Others still say it is a possibility.

The current internet references are clearly borrowing from other internet sources in that their wording is extremely similar.  From our recent survey, most are not aware of other forms or research, but one was aware of the other forms and simply "liked" the Island of the Cow story better.  (Everything on the internet is true, after all. :-))

Ms. Lindsay's book does also include some alternate names that are interesting and unique.  From this, we found a reference that clearly refers to the island as "Elengavahana" in 1845 in describing the boundaries of Dumbartonshire county. 

We also came across Sir Walter Scott's reference to the island as "Inch Tavoe" in a note to his historical novel "The Monastery" (1820).

Well ... at least Eilean a' Bhogha, Eilean a' Bho, and Inch Tavoe rhyme!

With busy schedules and many competing projects, we are still pressing for completion of the current report and submission of a new SMC in early 2018.   Thanks for all the contributions to research and for your on-going support.]]>
<![CDATA[Harvey]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 03:28:54 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/harveyMuch of the month has been spent recovering from Hurricane Harvey and that process is still on-going.  We are still hoping for updates from the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh, but our paid researcher was not able to take on translation of the 1395 charter given his current backlog of work.  We're still looking and have a close starting point based on the updated transcription and a translation by Simon Taylor of a related charter.

Although the 1395 charter seems to be the oldest in the Hill Collection, Muniments 73 does mention a 13th century charter and we will look further into that for details.  

Thanks for your continued support!
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<![CDATA[SLIC Superpixels and Paleography]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 02:44:15 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/slic-superpixels-and-paleographyPeter McFarlin and Preston McFarland kindly provided images of the 1395 charter from Duncan, Earl of Lennox, to Duncan Macpharlane that they had taken at Dunbarton from the Hill Collection. (Thank you!)  This is part of the important work they are proposing to record, preserve and publish the information there.

They also granted us permission to involve some researchers in analysis of the charter.  Specifically, we wanted to confirm the spelling of "Elanvow" and of the other island place names in the charter.  The 1395 charter is the oldest extant written reference to the island that we know of.

We are working with experts at the University of Edinburgh as well as at the University of Glasgow and with correspondence from experts as far away as Tunisia!  There will be more to follow on this with specifics per their permission.  One researcher applied SLIC superpixels to images of the charter to see if we could better identify and confirm the text there.  Several researchers and professors are reviewing the paleography of the charter to confirm spellings and to provide an updated transcription ... based on expert analysis.  We had mapped Cartalarium Comitatus de Levanax (p 64) ... word-by-word to the charter and have found some gaps, transpositions, and untranslated words.  The spelling of some of the previously translated words is also questionable.   For example, the transcriptions of the 1395 charter typically transcribe "Elandowglas" as the third island mentioned.  We transcribed that as "Elanin[ver]dowglas" where the "in" is an abbreviation of "inver" (inbhir) and was missed earlier.  This is our Inveruglas or inbhir dubh glas. Two independent experts have since confirmed that.  The use of abbreviations is common throughout the charter.  

We have also commissioned a researcher to translate the Latin for this charter to English based on an updated transcription and we plan to contribute this back to the work to be published by Preston and Peter.

We believe we have confirmed the spelling "Elanvow", but will await the expert reports to definitively confirm that ... or not.

Thanks for your continued support!]]>
<![CDATA[The Scotsman and The Team]]>Sat, 08 Jul 2017 12:31:19 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/the-scotsman-and-the-teamPictureThe Scotsman 2017
We were approached by The Scotsman for an article on the work at Elanvow while I was away on a long Fourth Of July weekend.  Alison Campsie arranged an interview with Fiona first on Wednesday (Thanks!) and I had a nice conversation with Alison on Thursday morning.  I wasn't expecting to see anything until Sunday (tomorrow), but the electronic version of the article was released on Thursday afternoon.
I had tried to emphasize the work with the local team Fiona, David, Tom, Myles, Liam, Jake, etc. and of Katherine's central role in making all this happen.   I also mentioned the other good work going on by others ... such as the recent almshouse dig on the mainland opposite Elanvow.  Alison did ask some very good questions and, I think, sensed the "personal" importance of this work, so the article ultimately went in that direction.  We are grateful to The Scotsman for the coverage and exposure.  (Coincidentally, our April meeting was in the Lord Lyon's Chambers only 20 some yards away from The Scotsman's old headquarters... now a hotel.)

As part of the work on the HES report, we are trying to tighten up our references.  We find that many of the references commonly cited are based on earlier original references ... and sometimes are misquoted. Thanks to the many of you who we have consulted for all the information you have provided!  Note that we are trying to include references and links to searchable copies of the reference wherever possible.  The "References, Maps & Myths" tab is the index to most of the research.  The bulk of the research links are in the "What's In A Name?" tab ...where we research the historical names for the island.  If you are aware of any 17th century or earlier references to the island, check our What's In a Name? tab, and please let us know of these.

Of particular interest are references for (i) the content of the 1225 Charter, (ii) images of the 1354 or 1395 charters or any that mention the island, (iii) any 17th century or earlier mention of the island's name (See What's In a Name?), (iv) any good references on the basis for the use of the name "Island of the Shop/Booth" and when that use started.  Of course, we will compile all relevant references over time and all submissions are welcome.

The team is regrouping from various corners of the world to focus on completing the HES report for the second Scheduled Monument Consent.  As noted, we have a very well done estimate and plan for repairs/stabilization from Simpson and Brown through Tom and Addyman Archaeology.  The proposed work was summarized in prior posts and we plan to submit a Scheduled Monument Consent application for this work as soon as possible after completing the second report.   This is more work than most people might imagine and we thank the team for all their contributions.

As a footnote, we had told the Scotsman that we wanted to stay out of any discussions/disputes on ownership or clan society tensions.  In fact, we have offered return of donations in the past if we sensed that a donor may be putting conditions on the donation ... such as excluding others from participating ... that were not consistent with our goals.   Our blog history still retains some of the past discussion on that topic. We want all to be able to participate in the efforts to preserve Elanvow and to focus on that preservation work for the benefit of all.

Thank you for your continued support!

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<![CDATA[Onward]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 02:22:05 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/onward3931608With the team scattered across the world, we are focused on the third week in July for the next convergence.   We are "sharpening the pencil" on research and references both for educational signage and for the HES report.  This effort reminds us of all the countless hours of research that have been done by others ... and we are very grateful.  it also makes us mindful that it is important to re-check references and to be as accurate and objective as we can.

The Edinburgh gathering also reminded me what an exceptional group of experts we have on the team ... Fiona Baker, David Connolly, and Tom Addyman forming the core.  Simpson and Brown have given us detailed instructions for preservation of the tower and estimates for the work.   Although the sum is a bit staggering, the experts feel the work to date should help in getting funding for the bulk of the work.   We also may be able to stage the work, but anything beyond two stages would likely net increase the costs.  The recommendations call for clearing and leveling the dirt above the vault, stabilizing the vault, capping the ground above with clay for water protection and laying sod.  This would provide a stable surface for scaffolding to allow the tower walls to also be capped with clay and sod ... and for the most unstable, potentially dangerous, portions of the walls to be stabilized.  All that done, re-pointing of the masonry would stabilize and preserve the tower for another few hundred years hopefully. 

As we finish the HES report and submit the third Schedule Monument Consent,  we will also start laying out strategies for fund raising.   Although unlikely to fund the project, we do still have plans for converting the seasoned elm (taken from the cellar entrance in 2013) into sgian dubh, quaichs, serving boards and the like.   We will also likely be selling "bags of mortar" and the like as the consolidation work begins.  We are still trying to find a way to include the names of donors on the signage on the island and plan to work with LLTTNP to produce the signage.

Thanks to all for your patience and support. ]]>
<![CDATA[Edinburgh, Vents and Alms]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:08:18 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/edinburgh-vents-and-almsWe had great meeting in Edinburgh on April 18 with Fiona Baker, Tom Addyman, and David Connolly.   The team exchanged and updated information on Elanvow and laid out the remaining work to complete the requisite report for HES SMC 2 report.

April 19 and 20 were set aside for visits to the island.  I was fortunate to visit the dig at the presumed site of the seventeenth century almshouse built by John 15th chief and son of Elanvow's Andrew.  It was a pleasure to meet Heather James and her team and see the last stages of the dig as it was back-filled and covered.
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Presumed almshouse dig site as seen from Elanvow
PictureEast vault east vent looking upward
Loch Lomond Wakeboards provided transport to the island on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.  They are located at the Ardlui Hotel Marina and are highly recommended for access to the island.

This trip was a bonus trip and focused on photographing the East Wall vault air vent and capturing photogrammetry images in hopes of filling the the model of the island grounds below the tree canopy.   Some foliage cleanup was done as well on safely accessible portions of the tower per the HES SMC.

The photographs and derivative 3D model showed clearly that there was a second vault and the East Wall vent is tapered with stepped lintels. 

We also now have all we need to propose signage and are working on a draft for consideration by the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.  We will post that shortly and will appreciate review and comment.

While in Edinburgh, the team also reviewed Simpson and Brown's recommendations for repairs to the tower and vault.  The costs will be substantial and the team identified potential sources for funding.  As we complete SMC2, we will be proposing SMC3 and seeking funding.

More to follow!



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<![CDATA[April Visit and a planned flyover for Inveruglas]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 21:06:07 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/april-visit-and-a-planned-flyover-for-inveruglasThe team is scheduled to meet in Edinburgh on April 18 to consolidate work for the current Scheduled Monument Consent and to chart the completion of that work.  In addition, we will prioritize recommendations for on-going preservation work.

We will plan a visit to the island on the 19th and/or 20th ... with no particular goals, but perhaps to resolve any questions that arise on the 18th.

We have had a great interaction with Greig Morris of Aye in the Sky on the Eilean a Vow quadcopter modeling.   Since we had a little momentum and the visibility seems right, we asked John Duncan for permission to flyover Inveruglas and he has agreed.  Greg will watch for the right lighting and weather conditions and, hopefully, will capture some great photos in the next week or two.  Even though our charter is for Eilean a Vow, this seemed like an opportunity for Macfarlanes that we shouldn't miss.  Of course, all the modeling work and travel is covered by The Board and no donated funds are used.

As mentioned,  the preservation work recommended by the experts is extensive and there will be plenty of opportunity for good use of donations in future.

Thanks for your on-going support!]]>
<![CDATA[A new name ... "The Elanvow Preservation Fund"]]>Sat, 04 Mar 2017 14:31:46 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/a-new-name-the-elanvow-preservation-fundBased on our research on the etymology of Elanvow / Eilean a Vow, we have officially changed our name!  We have registered to do business as The Elanvow Preservation Fund even though our legal name, Ellan Vhow Preservation Fund, remains.  EIN 46-0871085

"Elanvow" is the name as written in the 13th and 14th century charters.

Of the many forms of the name over the years,  Ellan Vhow, now seems the least correct, if not just incorrect.  In fact, our Scottish Gaelic translator said that spelling made her 'blood curdle". :-)   As noted earlier, we originally chose that spelling based on the RCAHMS spelling and to chose a relatively unique spelling.  We want to avoid propagation of the Ellan Vhow form and will stop using that.   We will even try to remove/correct past references using the Ellan Vhow form (... not in the Hatshepsut sense ... we will keep reference to the former name ... but we do not want our prior use of that form to promote it's use.)

Follow "What's In A Name?" for on-going research on the island's name.  We feel Eilean a Vow (or any Vow form) and Elanvow have solid basis as legitimate forms. 

Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba has agreed that it is appropriate to list both "Eilean a' Bhogha" and "Eilean a' Bhùth" as the most likely Gaelic forms.  Eilean a' Bhùth was documented after the island was used as store of sorts in the very late 17th century, but we still feel this is a later use.  The island was also clearly call Eilean Ure (The New Island) at one point, but no one claims that to be a potential Gaelic translation of Elanvow.)  We will post the expert Scottish Gaelic pronunciations of each on the Home page and listeners can decide which was more likely written as "Elanvow" in the charters.

Thanks for your on-going support!
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<![CDATA[Next Visit March 29 to April 3]]>Sat, 18 Feb 2017 03:39:30 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/next-visit-march-29-to-april-3Our next visit to Eilean a Vow is scheduled for March 29 to April 3, 2017.  The team will assemble in Edinburgh to meet with Tom Addyman, consolidate work to date and chart the remaining tasks to complete the Historic Environment Scotland report for the second Scheduled Monument Consent.

A quadcopter flyover has been commissioned for the first break in the weather. That is really just a bonus since David Connolly has completed a beautiful core survey.

I am hoping to capture some Scots Gaelic audio recordings of Eilean a Bhogha and Eilean a Bhuth with expert Gaelic speakers in Edinburgh and/or Glasgow for inclusion here.   We continue to believe the island is the Island of the Sunken Rock with additional later names ... the New Island (Eilean Ure) when the Chief moved to Eilean A Vow in the latter part of the 17th century and then Island of the Store (Eilean a' Bhuth) in the late 17th century when goods were sold from the island.

We have enjoyed conversations with Jake King over recent months and Jake has published a short article re Eilean a Vow on January 17 in The Scotsman.  Jake had also noted earlier that Dwelly's Gaelic dictionary referrred to Eilean a Vow as Eilean a' Bhogha, but had some doubts.  It was later in our conversation that the 1861 Admiralty Chart surfaced showing the nautical use of Eilean a Vow to avoid the sunken rock (Guy Rock) to the south.  Even James in this History to the Clan MacFarlane said that the island was "manifestly" Eilean a Vow and "later called" Eilean a Bhuth.

We are looking at a timeline widget to add to the site to better lay out relevant information on names in a more compact form. We plan to include a chapter on the island's names in the HES report and plan to invite Jake King and Simon Taylor to review and acknowledge their contributions to the research to date. 

More to follow soon ...
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<![CDATA[Giving Thanks for Recent Progress!]]>Mon, 28 Nov 2016 03:37:07 GMThttp://ellanvhow.org/elanvow-preservation/giving-thanks-for-recent-progressWow! Even though we have been actively working since the September trip to the island, neither Katherine nor I recognized that we hadn't updated the project status blog!  We missed two months of updates for the first time in history! Apologies!

Please see the Projects tab and, particularly, the September 5, 6 page with a short summary of that trip.   It was focused on cellar photogrammetry and still more measurements of the island.  It was a very nice and productive Father-Daughter trip appended to the end of our summer travel.

Since the trip, David has been able to incorporate all info has has submitted a "Final Draft" of the survey for team review.  As noted in the projects page, I created two additional 3D models of the cellar and am working on combining the complementary portions.  These are downloadable from the 3D Modeling tab.

Lastly, we have been doing a ton of work on the origins of the island's name.   See What's in a Name? or the "New Evidence..."" link on the home page for a major update there!  The experts at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh have narrowed the likely explanations to "Island of the Store" and "Island of the Sunken Rock".  Myles Maydew of the LLTTNP Rangers pointed out a note in an 1861 admiralty chart that we believe strongly supports the latter!  

We continue to ask for research help.   We are interested in any references to the island and "store" or "booth" as well and any older references to Guy Rock or the use of the island for navigation.   We are particularly interested in solid time references for the "store" and/or "booth" stories.   

If you can't wait to read through the article in the "What's in a Name?" tab, you can jump to the Conclusion? from the list of references listed there. 

Thanks!
Bruce and Katherine]]>