Skye’s Hidden Heritage
Discover the historic settlement of Rubh’ an Dùnain
English Gàidhlig
Rubh’ an Dùnain

Library & Links

All documents are in PDF format and can be downloaded for further reading. They are intended to provide useful background information. We hope that content can be expanded and developed over time to provide a valuable resource of authoritative material on Rubh' an Dùnain.

Additional contributions and suggested links are welcome. Unless otherwise stated, articles are the copyright of the author and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.

There are five categories.

1. Archaeology

Museum in the Landscape – Skye archaeologist Martin Wildgoose succinctly summarises the peninsula's unique ancient monuments.

Highway into History – Leadling marine archaeologist Dr Colin Martin details the latest fieldwork at Rubh' an Dùnain and suggests what needs to happen next.

Coastal Command – David Cowley of [then] RCAHMS and Colin Martin of Morvern Maritime Centre describe the benefits of aerial reconnaissance in mapping the archaeology of Scotland's western seaboard (first published in Current Archaeology, 2011).

Timeline – our graphical illustration of Rubh' an Dùnain through the ages.

2. MacAskill History

MacAskill history, like the clan itself, is finely scattered. We have gathered several studies in an attempt to provide some insights into past lives and incidents. Variations in chronology and of names of individuals and places are evident.

MacAskillHistory-PaulaM – Dr Paula Martin of Morvern Maritime Centre summarises the history of the MacAskill Clan (extracted from the MMC Data Structure Report on Rubh' an Dùnain, 2009)

MacAskillHistory-BillM – A detailed family history of the origins of the Rubh' an Dùnain clan by a direct descendant.

MacAskill Genealogy – MacAskill Society historian, Angus Macleod maps out the genealogy of the Rubh' an Dùnain tacksmen and their descendants.

MacAskills in the New World - Website editor Gordon Mack reviews an exhaustively-researched book Four Sons of Skye published in New Zealand and charting the genealogy, history and fortunes of a family intimately linked to Rubh' an Dùnain.

Skye Views – Tacksmen; Skye Views – Lieutenants – Two reproductions of articles tracing the history of Clan MacAskill by Alistair R Murray first published in the periodical, Skye Views, 1998.

RB-The Dun Hill; RB-MacAskills; RB-The Last Norseman – Raghnall MacilleDhuibh (Ronnie Black), writer, Gaelic editor of The Scotsman and formerly senior lecturer in Celtic at the University of Edinburgh sets 17th and 18th century Rubh' and Dùnain in the context of contemporary Gaelic culture in three articles (first published, West Highland Free Press, 2007 in his column, The Quern-Dust Calendar).

Eynort Graveyard – The St. Maelrubha's Eynort Graveyard Association was formed in 2021 with the purpose of restoring the ancient burial ground of MacAskills in the west of the Isle of Skye. Read this early newsletter about its foundation and contact details.

3. Access – Walking

Guides and Maps for walkers intent on making the 13-kilometre round trek to the peninsula.

Includes a waymarked guide, corresponding OS Map, blank route card and important advice from Scottish Natural Heritage.

Waymark Guide for Walkers

RaD Blank Route Card

RaD OS Map

SNH Outdoor Access Code

SNH Dog Guide

4. Gaelic

Gaelic Horizons – Prof Hugh Cheape of Skye's Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, explains how the language can deepen our understanding of archaeology and history

5. Flora & Fauna

On 15 May 2015, Dr Stephen Bungard and Nick Hodgetts of the Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland, led the Skye Botany Group to Rubh' an Dùnain for a brief field study. Their record lists for each 2km square area, are here:

NG31X – 104 plants
NG31Y – 154 plants
NG41D – 122 plants


More information on plant life in and around Skye can be found on Stephen's up-to-date blog.

6. Other reading links

Canmore – National Record of the Historic Environment. Complete archaeological record of the Rubh' an Dùnain site

Highland Council – Archaeological Record in detail.

Historic Environment Scotland – the unified body now incorporating both Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Am Baile – Highland Region library's unique digital archive of the history and culture of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Am Baile has digitised and made available tens of thousands of items from archives, libraries, museums and private collections.

SkyeStory – New for 2020 a dramatic 45min film comprising animaton, stunning photography and traditional music telling the story of the Isle of Skye from the Jurassic period to the present day. Required viewing at the Aros Visitor Centre, Portree, Skye.

Soillse is a research collaboration between the University of the Highlands and Islands, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow universities, and has been established to provide a much enhanced research capacity to inform public policy towards the maintenance and revitalisation of Gaelic language and culture. It is based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college at Sleat on Skye and has a budget of £5.29 million.

Skye & Lochalsh Archive Centre. Extensive historical records relating to all areas of Skye including Rubh' an Dùnain. Runs regular exhibitions and displays in a purpose-built modern centre.

Scottish Record Office

Associated Clan Macleod Societies – a valuable source of research information on the history of Skye's principle clan and a forum for news and views on matters of interest for Macleods and their Septs worldwide.

Clan Donald Visitor Centre, Armadale, Isle of Skye.

Highland Council Countryside Ranger Service – current events.

History Scotland magazine – report of the 2015 Skye's Hidden Heritage launch.

Wikipaedia – Updated and errors corrected, 2021.