There I was, back in June, minding my own business when the latest update came through from the West Cork History blog. The title was about Gneeve, a new word to me.
Reading the blog, it appeared to be a form of classification of land based upon what the land could bear in terms of output.
This got me thinking of Gneeveguilla and prompted my first visit to Gníomh go Leith (Gneeve and a half).
When on holidays, I was reading The Tailor – translation of recordings with Tim Buckley of Tailor & Antsy fame and on the first page he mentions ‘Gneeve’.
I might as well share the knowledge.
“That was an old-time way of reckoning. Anyone buying land would inquire how many collops it would carry. That was the first thing: how many collops would the land feed?
“My grandfather was born in Coolavohir, Ballyvourney. His name was John Buckley. There were at the time, two John Buckleys in Coolavohir, married to two sisters surnamed Lehane, daughters of Peter Larry.
“How do you define the word ‘gneeve?’ – It is the twelfth part of a ploughland; and those ploughlands and gneeves vary in size. One gneeve in my parish is a slarge as twelve others. I know gneeves in my parish that do not exceed from four to five acres in extent; and I know of another gneeve which has thirty acres on it : it is let according to its value”