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Cladh Hallan Roundhouses is an archaeological
site on the island, noted as the only place in Great Britain where
prehistoric mummies have been found. In 2001 a team of
archaeologists found the remains of what are believed to
two mummified Bronze Age bodies, buried under the floor of a
Roundhouse at Cladh Hallan.
of them was a male who had died around 1600 BC and another a female
who had died around 1300 BC. At first the researchers did not
realize they were dealing with mummies as the soft tissue had
decomposed and the skeletons had been buried. But, tests showed that
both bodies had not been buried until about 1120 BC and that the
bodies had been preserved shortly after death in a peat bog for 6 to
18 months. The preserved bodies were then apparently retrieved from
the bog and set up inside a dwelling but the reason why the bodies
were mummified is a complete mystery. It may have been for religious
beliefs or as a sign of reverence towards the ancestors so that they
could be brought out for important ceremonies or perhaps consulted
in some way.
was one of the shortest lived castles in Scotland being completed in
1708 and then being burned down in an accidental fire in 1715. It
was built as the home of the Chief of the Clan Ranald but was never
rebuilt or restored after the fire. Although well worth a visit,
please note that the castle walls are unsafe and the internal
structure is unstable so please keep a safe distance.
Stones About halfway down South Uist, you will see a turn to
Bornish and there is a track south from Bornish leading to a
standing stone. When the tarmac road reaches the coast look for a
grassy track that leads to the shore. Park here and the stone can be
seen on the skyline to the south. Walk along the beach to reach this
thin gneiss pillar about 1.6m high set on a low mound.
On the southern coast of the island, a standing
stone can be seen close to the shore near the
Polachar Inn. Thought to
date from the 3rd millennium this stone stands at a height of some
3m above high water mark. It is an irregularly shaped prism,
measuring 1.72m in height and 1.5m in girth at the foot.
Kildonan Museum is situated on the main road
about 7 miles north of Lochboisdale. The museum has a collection of
items about South Uist collected by a local Parish Priest, Father
John Morrison, during the 1950s and 1960s and show a rich
archaeological background to the island. There are artefacts dating
from the Bronze Age to the Viking era. There is a cafe in the museum
and another part of the building is used by the Uist Craft
Producers. Artwork, knitwear and woodwork is for sale. The museum is
also home to a Feis room, a room designed to be used for Gaelic
drama, dance, music and art. In July or August each year there is a
week long festival held here which draws together skills from
throughout the Gaelic world.
Statue of Our Lady of the Isles is 30ft high depiction in
granite of the Madonna and Child which was erected on the western
slope of Rueval at a height of 170ft above sea level in 1957. It was
the work of the sculptor Hew Lorimer and is
regarded as one of his finest works. It is 9m (30 feet) in height
and carved from granite. Lorimer gave the Madonna the face of a
typical island woman. It was commissioned by Father John Morrison
and paid for by the people of the island.
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