A MUSEUM ON SKYE

The Skye Museum of Island Life  at Kilmuir is another cool site on the Trotternish Penninsula.

Tucked away on the shore above the water is a village of thatched cottages at one time inhabited by the crofters (tenants of the landowners).

Each cottage is filled with memorabilia from the era (however pictures could not be taken inside the buildings.)

The museum was opened in 1965  with a focus on preserving a few of the cottages that were once the major type of homestead on Skye.  It is within these cottages (a few hundred years ago) that families and friends sat around the peat fire and passed on the stories and songs of the Hebrides which are now famous worldwide.

After visiting Skye in 1773 and staying in a croft house, James Boswell wrote: ‘We had no rooms that we could command, for the good people here had no notion that a man could have any occasion but for a mere sleeping-place’.

As we were riding around the Trotternish Penninsula, Anne told us about the Great Disruption of 1843. A lot happened at this time – but one basis of the Disruption is that the Evangelical Party gained a majority in the General Assembly. They wanted the church to feel free to call their own ministers rather than a wealthy church member/government being the one to choose.

On May 18th of that year – 450 ministers walked out of the Church of Scotland General Assembly at St. Andrews in Edinburgh and proceeded down the hill to Tanfield Hall. There they formed the Free Church of Scotland. They sacrificed a lot – gave up their churches and homes to stand on principal. They needed to work from the ground up to establish a church.  The Great Disruption is considered a major event in Scottish history.

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Above the museum is Flora MacDonald’s grave -she’s the one who risked her life to help Bonnie Prince Charlie escape (the one he never thanked).  I did not walk up there because I chose to meander around the village instead – but with enough time, one could do both at the same stop.

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