Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Eilean Fear Chrothair - The Beehive Isle

I have wanted to visit little Eilean Fear Chrothair for 20 years, ever since reading about its beehive cell in Donald Macdonald's Tales and Traditions of the Lews. The only other mentions of the beehive I've seen are in the Scottish Antiquaries article mentioned below, and this short RCAHMS listing, which calls it a 'possible chapel'. 

The closest I've been able to get to the island is the north end of Little Berneray, from where Eilean Fear Chrothair lies just 500 feet offshore. Someday I hope to set foot on this tiny island to see the beehive cell. They are fascinating structures, and if you're interested in them, see an article entitled Notes on certain Structures of Archaic Type in the Island of Lewis - Beehive Houses, Duns and Stone Circles in this Proceedings of Scottish Antiquaries issue from 1904 (Eilean Fear Chrothair is mentioned on page 182).

Eilean Fir Crothair seen from Little Berneray
Eilean Fir Crothair (with the beehive cell position noted)
Closeup view of the beehive

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