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Skye, Holm

Building(S) (Period Unassigned), Cultivation Remains (Period Unassigned), Field System (Period Unassigned), House (Period Unassigned), Township(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Skye, Holm

Classification Building(S) (Period Unassigned), Cultivation Remains (Period Unassigned), Field System (Period Unassigned), House (Period Unassigned), Township(S) (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 11522

Site Number NG55SW 1

NGR NG 518 517

NGR Description From NG 518 507 to NG 518 517

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Portree
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Skye And Lochalsh
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

See also NG55SW 1.1 and NG55SW 1.2

NG55SW 1 518 507 to 518 517.

NG 517 513 Holm: described as a'village' c. 1695 (Martin 1934). and shown as a township by Johnson in 1824 (Information from W Johnson's Map of Skye, 1824) but totally deserted by 1875 (OS 6"map, Isle of Skye, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., 1875).

M Martin 1934.

Holm consists of two distinct depopulated townships. The earlier run-rig settlement, centred at NG 518 507, is situated on a shelf of a steep cliff at a height of about 500' OD. It comprises about 12 ruined houses with a number of yards and outbuildings, the whole clearly contemporary with the surrounding lazy-bed system.

The later settlement, at NG 518 517, a sheep farm, is situated on the 250' raised beach. There is a large ruined house of mortared rubble masonry standing to the height of the gable at the E end, which is surrounded by about eight ruined houses. A considerable area of cleared land is visible round about but no run-rig, and to the S there is a large sheepfold.

Visited by OS (A C) 29 April 1961.

A township (centred on NG 518 517) comprising five unroofed buildings and a short length of wall is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Inverness-shire, Island of Skye 1878, sheet xviii). Approximately 650m to the S (NG 518 510) are a roofed and an unroofed building attached to the wall of a field and a further 300m to the SE is another roofed building. Another unroofed building lies approximately 450m S of the township (NG 5192 5127).

On the current edition of the OS 1:10560 map (1968) the township comprises eight unroofed buildings and two lengths of wall. The field is shown with one unroofed building attached and the single roofed building is not shown. A second township (centred on NG 518 507) comprising twelve unroofed buildings, four enclosures and a length of wall is also depicted.

Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 10 October 1996.


Field Visit (June 2010 - June 2010)

Measured survey and photographs.

Srp Note (19 July 2011)

The township of Holm was part of the tack of Scorrybreac, which was held by the Nicolson chiefs from Lord MacDonald of Sleat, until 1827. It then became part of the large sheep walk called Scorrybreac Sheep Farm, which, by the mid-nineteenth century had become one of the largest sheep farms in Scotland (for further information see the attached file, 'Scorrybreac Sheep Farm').

The township had two foci (North Holm NG55SW 1.01 and South Holm NG55SW 1.02). Local tradition states that people remained in Holm after the sheep farm was created in 1827, but that they lost their tenancies and remained only as cottars and fishermen. There is lazy bed cultivation at the South Holm settlement, but not at North Holm, which suggests that the people were cleared from South to North Holm about that time. About 1840 those cottars left ‘en masse’ to the jute factories in Dundee. The shepherd’s house (building number 1) at North Holm (NG55SW 1.01) is said to have been one of seven shepherd’s houses associated with the sheep farm. It seems likely that the attached enclosures and perhaps buildings 2 and 3 were also in use during the sheep farming period.

Both townships were surveyed by SRP Storr Lochs during June 2011 and detailed descriptions, plans and photographs resulting from this survey are attached to the respective site entries (NG55SW 1.01 and NG55SW 1.02).

Information from SRP Storr Lochs, July 2011.


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