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The original settlement of Mangersta (thought by some to derive from the Norse for 'Magnus's steading') was cleared, resettled and then cleared again prior to 1874. Crofts relating to that earlier period are labelled 'Old Mangersta' to distinguish them from the current settlement, which dates from 1911 when the farm was resettled, mainly by cottars from Brenish. In 1921 the old township of Mealista (cleared in the 1830s) was divided to enlarge the grazings of both Mangersta and Breanish.
The crofts lie in a sheltered valley opening southwards to the sea. The total recorded sheep stock in 1959 was 1179, including lambs, with a 70% lambing rate and a ration of 30 per 100 acres; the soum was 10 (Moisley). At the time Eilean Molach was used for grazing and each crofter was allowed two sheep on it.
Donald Cam's Stack is a significant feature off the cliffs near Mangersta.
The Grana was wrecked off Mangersta beach.