Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 13 - We put on the Kilts

We wake at the Laundry Cottage,

 have our breakfast and put on the kilts. After donning the kilts we attempt to once again Raise the Clans

and break into the Castle,

just kidding about breaking into the Castle.

Then it's off to Orbost and the Orbost Estate Farm to visit Rachel Jackson to deliver the stones
from Fort MacLeod and get an update on the Woodlands/Memorial Wall Project.
Together with her husband, Keith, they have organized the Clan MacLeod Woodlands Project, including the Memorial Wall, see the first blog on this trip (

Orbost is situated off the Dunvegan to Glendale road, Orbost is famous for its iconic house – Orbost House, a 14-bedroom mansion originally owned by the MacLeods. Nestling in the shadow of Healabhal Bheag (MacLeod’s Tables South) Orbost lies in the north-west of the Isle of Skye, approximately 4 miles from Dunvegan, seat of the Clan MacLeod.

'That's Orbost, sir, the house under the hill', said Malcolm, pointing with his whip...
('A Summer in Skye', Alexander Smith, 1865).

Orbost House, located in the North West of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, is one of the Island´s finest houses. and unlike some of Skye´s other big houses it has been able to withstand the harsh weather conditions as well as several changes in ownership.

The oldest parts of Orbost House were built in the mid 18th century and more parts were added in later times. It has a long and intriguing history and is mentioned in several books, most famously in Alexander Smith´s 'A Summer in Skye' and W. W. Tarn´s 'The Treasure of the Isle of Mist'. It was home to Otta Swire, famous author of the book 'Skye - The Island and its Legends'.

Orbost House and its magnificent surroundings are unique and have their very own magic. It holds a special place in many people´s hearts and is, as W. W. Tarn put it, 'A True House of Faery'.

The story of Orbost House is a rich tapestry, tightly interwoven with the history of the Isle of Skye and its people. Orbost House has been continuously inhabited since it was built around 1760, second only to Dunvegan Castle, built about 800 years ago.

Orbost used to belong to the estates of the Clan of Skye. However, unlike other tacks (a leased piece of land) on the Island, Orbost was never connected with any single MacLeod family.

The first available records of the Orbost Estate show that in 1683, one Ean Mc Wannane (John McLennan) was paying rent to the MacLeod Chief for the tack of 'Hirbost'. The amount paid for the tack was the third highest rent on the MacLeod estates at that time, indicating its relative status in economic terms.

It is important to note that Orbost, in early days, used to be supplied from the sea and not, as it is now, by the road from the town of Dunvegan. The old road led from the nearby Bharcasaig Bay to the house and no further. People living at Orbost were dependent on boats and lived in a state of relative isolation and self-sufficient economy.

After a wonderful visit with Rachel who baked fresh scones and provided homemade jam, we head off to the old Town of Dunvegan.

On the way we stop into the Castle Dunvegan Estate Offices and discover we are being given a private tour of the Castle tomorrow morning.

It's back to the Laundry Cottage for a rest and then to the Cellar Bar to swap stories with the locals, all around Tennants and scotch.

1 comment:

  1. Looking good!!! Kilts and all. :):):)