Northton Machair and Temple

Northton, Isle Of Harris, Outer Hebrides, HS3 3JA

Type:Walks

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About

This wonderful little walk is suitable for all ages. It goes over the Northton machair, the low-level coastal plain that runs along much of the Atlantic coast of the Outer Hebrides. It is formed by the wind blowing fine sand that is high in shell content onto the boggier acidic grasslands. This results in a rich fertile pasture able to support livestock and a multitude of wild flowers which clothe the ground during late spring and early summer. It leads to the Teampall - a ruined chapel that sits on a headland beside the remains of an older dun, which probably provided much of the materials, the present Teampall or chapel dates from 1528 when it was built by Alasdair Crotach, Chief of the MacLeods in the same year that he built the church at Roghadal. The roof would have been thatched with reeds from the nearby stream and the interior whitewashed with lime-rich shell sand. Being accessible for those living on the rich western coastal machair and the then populous islands of Pabbay and Berneray to the south, it served as the parish church for the whole of Harris before falling into disuse in the early 16th century.

[This walk together with an ascent of Ceapabhal are described in detail and illustrated with Ordnance Survey map extracts in 'Walking on Harris and Lewis' by Richard Barrett, published by Cicerone Press 2010. Unless otherwise indicated, all images used here are copyright of the author.]

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Opening Times

Northton Machair (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)

What's Nearby

  1. Situated in Northton, Isle of Harris, Harris Art Gallery is run by portrait painter Suzan…

    0.43 miles away
  2. Seallam! Visitor Centre is found in Northton Isle of Harris in the lovely Isle of Harris.…

    0.72 miles away
  3. This area, from the township of Taobh Tuath to the headland of Rubh' an Teampaill, has…

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  1. Bag Steinigidh lies between Scarasta and Borve on the west coast of Harris.

    2.93 miles away
  2. This standing stone appears now as a single monolith overlooking one of the most…

    3 miles away
  3. Remains of an Iron Age broch at NG032 940 near the village of Borve.

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  4. Talla Na Mara sits opposite Niseaboist beach, famed for its views across the sound of…

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  5. Remains of chambered cairn

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  6. Borrisdale Tweed produces high quality, exclusive, Harris Tweed products.  We make…

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  7. Standing stone overlooking the beach near the village of Horgabost .

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  8. Ben Ghainche is a small hill situated at the north end of the beach at Bearsdaire

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  9. St Clements Church is situated in the village of Rodel, South Harris. Construction…

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  10. This is the largest and most splendid medieval church in the Outer Hebrides. NG 048 832

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  11. Open Tuesday to Friday inclusive every week - appointments can be made outwith those…

    6.08 miles away
  12. Berneray and the nearby island of Pabbay lie in the Sound of Harris between North Uist…

    6.13 miles away
  13. Seilebost is a small crofting village on the coast road along the west side of Harris.

    6.19 miles away
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