Away across the sea to Skye lies a mountain sacred to the ancient veiled earth goddess, the Cailleach. This sacred peak rises behind Broadford, and carries many legends, while she watches over the lush green glen at her feet. Norwegian princesses and nursemaids to kings are rumoured to lie resting at her cloud brushed summit, stroked by the fresh cool winds from Norway. She often holds a final streak of snow in spring, long after the other nearby mountains have shed their winter coats. The Beinn na Cailleach is an ancient mystery indeed, and she guards the holy glen of Chille Chroist, where the bones of the people of this land lie sleeping beneath a moss green mound. This photo is taken from the top of the fairy mound, which stands at the head of the fertile sheep filled glen.
The Loch of Cill Chriosd (Christ’s Church or “Kilchrist”) lies at its heart, and you can see the slopes of Beinn na Cailleach rising behind. Once inhabited by a fierce black kelpie, the waters were blessed by Saint Mael Ruba, and the water beastie fled. The location is thought to contain the bones and heritage of Christian worship dating back to the 7th century. Now its congregation is mostly black faced sheep, and its choir made up of small song birds.
The now ruined church is surrounded by grave stones which have been wiped almost clean by the passage of countless hundreds of years of cold snow filled winds. Only lichen and wool can now be read, while others yet hold onto tantallising clues and marks. An ancient boar carved stone whispers tales of the almost forgotten Clan of the Boars. The layers of history lie deep around this glen and the sacred mountain slopes of Beinn na Cailleach.
For all my fact lovers, these photos were taken around Cill Chriosd (Christ’s Church or “Kilchrist”) a ruined former parish church of Strathaird, on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Dating from the 16th century, it replaced an earlier 7th centuary Medieval church on the same location, and was used until 1840. It lies on the B8083 Broadford to Torrin and Elgol road.