Naast - possible derivations of the name :

 

Gaelic  Nàst (doubtful)

Irish     Naas a fair (the t could have developed later)

Norse  Naust a boat place (most likely). This fits with evidence of at least temporary Norse settlement in the area.

Summary of recent survey

Summary of recent survey

Summary of recent survey

Summary of recent survey

The township of Naast faces east on a sloping hillside which rises from the shore of the sheltered sea-loch, Loch Ewe to about 100m. Much of the township is on a slope of approximately 1: 5, but the gradient on some parts can be much steeper. There is much evidence of terracing to manage the steep land for cultivation.
There are 3 main burns which flow through the settlement and join just before entering the sea, where there is a modern jetty and other older boat landings on the shore.
There are 12 improved crofts set out on a square grid imposed on the pre-improvement township, with a modern road running SW to NE from Poolewe to Inverasdale and Cove, cutting through several of the crofts.
The township is an example of a multi-period site, with settlement evidence from the prehistoric period. There are at least 4 Iron Age hut circles within or adjacent to the site and the remains of contemporary field boundaries.
The remains of the township buildings seldom have walls higher than 1.5m, although a few more sophisticated later buildings have more substantial higher walls.
Naast presently has 7 houses occupied, with crofting continuing in 2 families, who make use of the township land for grazing sheep and cattle.

During WW2

Loch Ewe was a convoy assembly point and naval anchorage, where many ships would require fresh water. The large house, now painted white was the Admiralty Pump House. The large circular tank has been removed. The World War II pump station for fresh water is now a private house with most of the elements of the site on private land. The pump house, water tank, pipework and the pier are on the east side of the road. The two dams and some pipework are on the west side.

Some of the filtration system survives in the lower part of the building, and past owners have retained elements of the water system in the basement of the house. A further two brick built buildings, one of which retains some internal pipework, are situated about 17m south of the Allt Donn just east of the road bridge.

The large 30m diameter tank is visible on RAF air photographs from October 1946 within an embanked semi-enclosure. Several huts and hut bases are also visible in the vicinity, including a group of three hut bases.

The jetty, also seen on air photographs is depicted on the current OS maps.

The site of the military accommodation camp for the Admiralty Pump House and water works is situated below Am Beum, at the end of track which leads from the Pump House.
There is a concrete dam and pipework on west side of road and pump house and pipes on the east side.


 

A tree with a story to tell

This gnarled Scots pine stands in a prominent position behind one of the two ruined houses at the edge of Croft 12. A Naast resident told us it had been planted in about the 1860s.

Apparently, a family living on this croft decided to emigrate to New Zealand. They had several children, but unfortunately one daughter was unwell and had to stay behind with relations. The family planted this tree before they left. Some years later, when the daughter recovered, she was able to join her family in New Zealand, travelling with her grandfather and an uncle.

She went on to have 9 children of her own and lived to 90.

When croft 12 was first surveyed, a large branch had recently broken away from the trunk near the roots, so we counted the rings. There were about 150 — which takes us back to the 1860s!