Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Long-term residents

I guess most places in the world have been occupied by humans for thousands of years, and man has left his monuments and burial mounds and so on.

Somehow, though, when you come across such a location on Skye, where some of the remains are just 'there' - for you to touch, and explore - the feeling of history is much more tangible.

I explored one such place the other day. This is Rubha na Dùnain, near Glen Brittle. No-one lives there now, and it is a three mile walk from the nearest road. But there are relics everywhere. This has been a busy place for thousands of years. There's a neolithic cave, which has been excavated, and signs of its use as a stone napping workshop were discovered....


There's a chambered cairn, also excavated and left open, so the entrance passageway and burial chamber are exposed.  It was built at least 5000 years ago! (Sorry, I didn't get a good photo of that one)....



 There's an iron-age Dun... 


 Then there's a canal, providing access from a small  loch to the sea. The canal may be over 1000 years old.

And there's quite a substantial house, also possibly 1000 years old, but with a chimney added in the 16th century. And ruins of so many other houses...

Plus - of course - some great views...
 
(Click any picture to see it full size)

2 comments:

Worcestershire Turnip said...

Interesting to see your photos. It's sad that after such a long period of human activity, no-one should live there anymore. I guess the last people to go were victims of the Highland clearances?

Richard said...

Hi Pete! The story is that the residents who were still in Rubha an Dùnain in the 18th century were 'cleared' from there, but re-homed on Skye. They were the MacAskill clan, and there is a 'Glen VicAskill' in central Skye - but I feel unsure that a fishing/boat-building community would have relocated to an inland settlement... The history is so incomplete!

Today, the site is too far from other habitation or communications infrastructure to make it viable for re-settlement. We all want roads, shops and high-speed broadband these days...