Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Treasured Place - Sgorr nam Ban-naomha

On our May 21st cruise we hope to visit Canna. One of the best, but difficult, walks on the island is the seven-mile round trip hike to the Celtic Christian cashel of Sgorr nam Ban-naomha. The place name 'Sgorr' is used for a level shelf of land below a cliff and above the sea, and so Sgorr nam Ban-naomha means something like 'the cliff-girt terrace of the holy women'.

Sgorr nam Ban-naomha
Getting to Sgorr nam Ban-naomha requires descending the 300-foot cliffs via a narrow sheep track. It's been 14 years since I last walked down that path, but if it's still there, and looks safe, we'll try to do it.

The Sheep track down the cliff (marked with arrows)
The ruins are extensive, and include an oratory, altar, and what may have been a bathhouse or mill. See book 1 chapter 29, and this CANMORE page, for more on this fascinating site, which was also selected as one of Scotland's Treasured Places.

Two-chambered beehive ruin

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