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Stac Dhomhnuill Chaim

Mangersta, Isle Of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, HS2 9EY

Type:Monuments & Ruins

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About

Oral tradition tells that it was once a hideout and fortress for the well-known outlaw and hero, Dhomhnuill Chaim MaCaulay who lived in the late 16th/early 17th centuries. It is a dramatically shaped stack, nearly 50m high, but only 20m in diameter on top, and is joined to the mainland via a 60m long knife-edge or spine of rock, which was originally passable as a small path - Donald's sister "Big Anne" is said to have carried large vessels of milk across this path for Donald when he was in residence. A similar refuge is said to have been used by Neil MacLeod, a friend and ally of Donalds, over on the island of Berisay.

In 1890 Captain F. W. L. Thomas:Stac described it as "quite inaccessible, except on the land side, where a narrow path leads up the steep brae. A wall, from 4 to 5 feet thick, defends it on the land side, in which, at the south end, there is a gap or gateway, 2 feet wide. The gate would be extremely dangerous to force, as the cliff is close in front of it. There are the ruins of a cottage, 18.5 by 10 feet interiorly, and the walls 4.5 feet thick, on the terre pleine of the rock, as also a sheep-pen attached to the wall."

Today the narrow path across the isthmus has all but gone, but the buildings can be seen clearly from the adjacent cliffs.

In 2006, a local descendant of Dhomhnuill Chaim visited the site in conjunction with the STAC (Severe Terrain Archaeological Campaign), and found a large piece of pottery, which has since been identified as early pre-historic, possibly Neolithic.

What's Nearby

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    0.22 miles away
  2. One of the largest fish seen in the waters around the Outer Hebrides.

    0.3 miles away
  3. Traigh Mhangurstadh (Mangersta) is a beautiful beach in the parish of Uig in south west…

    0.57 miles away
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  2. Ard Feinis is a rocky promontory just south of Mangurstadh in the south west of Lewis.

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  3. Photograph © David Wilson


    The glorious bay at Uig, south west Lewis, has many of…

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  4. Short, low growing with spike of bright yellow flowers

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  5. Camas Uige or Uig Bay is in a national scenic area in the south west of Lewis.

    2.49 miles away
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  7. Camas na Clibhe (Cliff beach) is a quartz sand beach situated on the Valtos peninsular in…

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  8. Public Art structure by artists Marian Leven and Will Maclean that reflects local,…

    6.72 miles away
  9. Traigh na Beirghe (Reef Beach) is a very long, sweeping, white sand beach in Uig

    6.81 miles away
  10. A low growing plant with small white 2 lobed flowers. Found on improved agricultural land…

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  11. Tall, slim stems with pale blue flowers

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  12. Photograph of Pabbay from Reef Beach © David Wilson

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  13. Large semi-aquatic animal. Very sleek profile in water.

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