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Skye, Breakish, Cill Ashik

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Skye, Breakish, Cill Ashik

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Tobar Ashik; Ashaig

Canmore ID 11571

Site Number NG62SE 1

NGR NG 6867 2426

NGR Description NG 6867 2426 and NG 6872 2430

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project (7 September 2016)

Cill Ashaig, Skye & Lochalsh, cross-slab

Measurements: H 0.29m, W 0.21m, D 0.15m

Stone type: limestone

Place of discovery: NG 6867 2426

Present location: Highland Council Museum Service, Portree.

Evidence for discovery: found in 1994 near the well, Tobar Ashaig, near the old burial ground.

Present condition: good.


This roughly rectangular block is incised with a simple linear cross.

Date range: seventh to ninth century.

References: Fisher 2001, 102.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016


Field Visit (May 1914)

675. Cill Ashik (Aiseag - Church of the Ferry), north-east of Lower Breakish, with graveyard.

Visited by RCAHMS May 1914

Field Visit (17 April 1961)

The site of Cill Ashik shows as a rectangular raised mound, containing much shell mortar and a few facing stones, occupying a natural rock outcrop in the highest part of the cemetery. It is orientated E-W an measures 9.0m along this axis and 7.0m transversely by 0.8m high.

Tobar Ashik is a strong spring which issues from the hillside a few feet above sea-level; it is protected by a few stone slabs above and around its point of issue.

Visited by OS (CFW) 17 April 1961.

Desk Based Assessment

NG62SE 1 6867 2426 and 6872 2430.

(NG 6867 2426) Cill Ashik (NR) (Burial Ground) (NAT) (NG 6872 2430) Tobar Ashik (NAT)

OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1903)

Kill Ashik or Askimilruby (Donaldson 1923), the church of the Ferry of St. Maelrubha. Tradition says that the ferry was used by the saint to cross from his monastery of Applecross on the mainland opposite. There is also a legend that beside the church grew a tree on which St. Maelrubha's bell was hung, the bell ringing of its own accord every Sunday, etc.

Tobar Ashik, covered by a low building of large stones on the shore, is also attributed to the saint and the subject of legend.

August 27th used to be kept at Bradford as La Maolruaidhe, St. Maelrubha's Day, the date of the Old Scottish obersvance of his festival (Donaldson 1923).

In 1845 (NSA 1845) the church was presumably extant as it is described as 'remains of', but by 1876 (OS 6"map, Isle of Skye, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., 1876) it had disappeared and Lamont (1913) says 'the foundations of the old church were discovered while a grave was being dug some years ago'.

Information from OS.

New Statistical Account (NSA) 1845; W Reeves 1857; D Lamont 1913; M E M Donaldson 1923; RCAHMS 1928.


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