Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dun Eistean

Off the north end of Lewis lies Dun Eistean, a small island separated from the Lewis mainland by a 40 foot gap. I first learned about Dun Eistean 20 years ago, when I read the chapter about the Morrisons in Sir Ian Moncreiffe's The Highland Clans. The fortified stack was a stronghold of the Morrisons, and on it are the ruins of several generations of fortifications.

And so on a sunny spring day in 2010, having read about the possibility of getting on to the stack by climbing down the 50-foot cliffs at low tide, I made my way on foot along a track that led north to Dun Eistean.

A pleasant surprise awaited me as I reached the cliffs opposite Dun Eistean. There would be no need to scramble down any cliffs. What I found was a sturdy steel footbridge, built in 2002, that spanned the gap to Dun Eisean. And so I leisurely strolled across the bridge to spend a hour on Dun Eistean and the broch ruin that crowns its summit (which is known as Tigh nan Airm, the house of weapons). 

Here are few photos from that visit in 2010. See this link if you are interested in an extensive description of the ruins that are to be found on this historic little island. Some time I will relate my two failed attempts to reach another historic stack that also lies off the north end of Lewis. It is Luchruban, also known as the Pygmies Isle. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point to view) no bridge has been built to Luchruban.

Dun Eistean seen from the sea - note the bridge at left
Footbridge to Dun Eistean
Display at Dun Eistean
The track to the bridge - the site of the broch can be seen on the horizon
Looking to the Butt of Lewis from Dun Eistean

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