Legendary Rock: OS Grid Reference – NG 3638 8091
Unless you’ve got your own boat, forget it! This one’s miles out on the isolated uninhabited island of Fladda-chuain about 5 miles off the northwest tip from Duntulm, Trotternish. I wouldn’t mind a coupla weeks alone on the isle though – if anyone can get me there!
Archaeology & History
This little rocky island was allegedly another one of the many visiting places that St. Columba frequented in his copious ventures, trying to sell his new religion to local people wherever he went. Here he came to the legendary clach known as the Weeping Stone: a place of reverence to the druids and indigenous people. But St Columba came here to christianize the rituals that were had at the site; and, eventually, he was allowed to build a small stone chapel close by.
In Otta Swire’s (1961) excellent work on the folklore and history of the Isle of Skye, she wrote:
“In Duntulm Bay lies Tulm Island and beyond it, in clear weather, Fladdachuan, Fladda of the Ocean, can be seen. In olden times this was a sacred spot, held by many to be Tir-nan-Og, the Isle of Perpetual Youth, which lay in the west; here it is always summer and the sun never sets. The puffins recognized its sacred nature and never began any venture until they had circled the island three times sunwise; this they did also on arriving in Skye and before leaving it. It was held by some to be the reason why in Skye people used to turn three times sunwise before starting a new enterprise. The Druids held it in veneration and St. Columba caused a chapel to be built there. On its altar lay a black stone which some say was the original altar stone of the Druids and which was known as the Weeping Stone because it was always wet. Until fairly recently fishermen used to land on the island and pour three handfuls of seawater on the stone to procure favourable winds or to stop bad floods. The Weeping Stone no longer exists, or at least is no longer to be found where the altar once stood.”
I can’t find anything more about this place. Does anyone know owt more about it?
- Swire, Otta F., Skye: The Island and its Legends, Blackie & Son: Glasgow 1961.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian