Beinn na Cailleach, Islay, Argyll

Sacred Mountain:  OS Grid Reference – NR 450 596

Also Known as:

  1. Beinn na Caillich


Another great mountain of the ‘Old Woman’: primal creation deity of these hills. Whether she holds sway over the land here for many months, as she does on Mull and Skye, I cannot find.  One creation legend here tells that one of the furrows down the side of the mountain – called Sgrìoh na Caillich – was said to be made by her as she slid down it in a sitting position. The small loch on the way up to her summit – Lochan na Caillich – was one of her washing places; and the Beinn na Caillich Beag, immediately east, speaks of other legends, now seemingly lost to us.  It’s highly likely that some of the megalithic remains nearby had some mythic relationship with this old hill, though I aint found any studies along these lines…yet!

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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