Wall Tomb of Alasdair Crotach MacLeod

Reputed to be the finest medieval wall tomb in Scotland, the monument to Alasdair Crotach MacLeod, 8th Chief of Clan MacLeod of Harris, is located on the south side of the choir of St. Clement’s Church (Tùr Chliamhainn in Gàidhlig or “Clement’s Tower”), Rodel, Harris. Over a carved effigy of the chief, four angels circle […]

Beannachadh Luinge

God bless the good ship of Clan Ranald, The first day it leaps on the wave, The ship and the sailors who man it The first on the roll of the brave! May the Three and the One be their guidance, Who tempers the blasts when they bray, Or tossed mid the war of the […]

Eaglais na h-Aoidhe

The crofting village of Aignish on the Isle of Lewis is home to the historic Eye Church (Gàidhlig: Eaglais Chaluim Chille or Eaglais na h-Aoidhe/Uidh). Last used for worship in 1829 and once the island’s foremost parish church, it stands on an earlier religious site said to have been founded by St. Columba’s contemporary, St. Catan (Eaglais na h-Aoidhe […]

The Eloquence of Columba in My Speech

Ora Buaidh (A Prayer for Victory) Ionnlaidh mi m’ aodann ‘S na naoi gatha greine, Mar a dh’ ionnlaid Moir a Mac, Am bainne bragh na breine. Mil a bhi ‘na m’bheul, Seirc a bhi ‘na m’aodann; An gaol thug Moire dha Mac Bhi an cridhe gach cairc domhsa. Gum bu suileach, cluasach, briathrach Dia, […]

Clachan Chalanais

The Callanish Stones (or “Callanish I”), Clachan Chalanais or Tursachan Chalanais in Gaelic, are situated near the village of Callanish on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Construction of the site occurred between 2900 BC and 2600 BC, though there were possibly earlier buildings before 3000 BC. A tomb was later built into the site. Debris from the destruction […]

Gallowglass and Kern

The gallowglass or galloglass (also spelt gallowglas or galloglas) — from Irish: gallóglaigh (plural), gallóglach (singular) — were a class of elite mercenary warriors who principally were members of the Norse-Gaelic clans of Scotland between the mid XIII century and late XVI century. As Scots, they were Gaels and shared a common background and language […]

Alasdair Mac Colla Chiotaich Mac Domhnuill

A figure of Gaelic folklore, Alasdair the son of Colla the Left-handed MacDonald was born into Clan Donald around 1610 on the island of Colonsay in the Outer Hebrides. As Clan Donald was spread across them, Mac Colla had experience of both the Scottish Highlands and Islands and the Gaeltacht of Ireland. A soldier like […]