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An Tinne musician-led walk: Boreraig and Ewan Robertson

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An Tinne musician-led walk: Boreraig and Ewan Robertson

June 5 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm



Distance: 12km

“A truly remarkable place, beautiful and haunting in equal measure.”

Start Point: Cill Chriosd Carpark. 2.5 miles south of Broadford on the B8083 to Elgol.
Grid Ref: 616206,-5.9433733,569m/data=!3m1!1e3

The first in a series of An Tinne‘s musicians’ walks to cleared villages on Skye and Raasay takes place at Boreraig. Abandoned during the Highland Clearances of the mid 1800s to make way for sheep, the village stands on the shores of Loch Eishort. The remains of 22 households, although in ruins, are still standing.
Breabach’s Ewan Robertson will lead this walk.
A good path but walking a good distance away from habitation.

Ewan Robertson

When touring Australia with Breabach in 2014, I took the opportunity to visit Phem Robertson, a distant relative living just south of Melbourne. Among the many laughs, cakes and cups of tea that we shared came the story of her great grandmother. She and her family had left Boreraig in the early 1850s and joined the Highland and Island Emigration Society to travel to Australia. Having walked from Boreraig to Broadford with whatever possessions they were able to carry, they were transported to Campbeltown where they boarded the Hercules in December 1852. Due to a fever breaking out on board, the Hercules was quarantined in Cork for three months shortly after leaving and many passengers were transferred to different emigrant ships thereafter. Finally, aboard the Bankers Daughter they arrived in Australia in September 1853 to begin their new life.

Upon returning from our tour, I made it a priority to visit Boreraig and that summer I made my first trip. My Grandfather and his eight siblings were born a short distance away in Faolin on the shores of Loch Slapin so I feel a close connection to the area. As I walked down the narrow path from Cill Chriosd I couldn’t stop thinking about the journey these families had made and the emotions and hardships they must have endured. I wondered whether my grandfather had grown up hearing stories of these families or perhaps he had gone to school in Torrin with their relatives, my mind was buzzing. When I arrived in Boreraig itself, I am not ashamed to say, I was fairly overwhelmed. It is a truly remarkable place, beautiful and haunting in equal measure. Thanks to the Scottish census we know that approximately 120 men, women and children lived in Boreraig’s 22 households in 1851, shortly before it was cleared. The last residents left in 1877, the ghostly shells of their homes lie in a fertile, sheltered bay looking south over Loch Eishort, an enduring legacy of a brutal and tragic time. The Glagan-glùine  (bridge of the shaky knees) is one of my favourite spots here and certainly carries a more light hearted story (more of that on the walk).

Phem is now in her ’90s and we have shared many more stories and cups of tea since first meeting! She is a living reminder of the resilience, determination and bravery of the people of Skye and their story of forging a new life far from home.

I am delighted that I’m able to join you to share and explore this special place.

General admission: £10
Child under 11: £5
Under 18s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

For walk information, click HERE

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June 5
10:00 am - 2:30 pm
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Start Point for Boreraig
Cill Chriosd Church, Isle of Skye IV49 9AS United Kingdom
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