MHG13874 - BA swords - Skye


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Two bronze leaf-shaped swords, one 26ins long, the other 22ins long with round, hollow pommel, listed from Skye without further information or exact provenance. The first noted is in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS, Accession no DL 36).
RCAHMS 1928; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1879; 1880; T Pennant 1809; J M Coles 1962.

589. (Ewart Park type - Caledonian step 2). Complete sword, but with part of hilt missing, length 66.6cm, shoulder width 6cm, maximum blade width 5.1cm; rivets 2 : 2, none in situ. Sword now lost.
596. (Ewart Park type - Caledonian unclassified). Sword blade, length 41cm, maximum blade width 5cm, dark brown patina. NMAS DL 36.
599. (Ewart Park type - Caledonian unclassified). Sword, length about 70cm, condition appears to be fair. The pommel is broken; rivets 2 : 2, none in situ. McLeod of Talisker collection.
C B Burgess and I Colquhoun 1988.

There is no evidence that these swords were found associated, or in the same locality.
Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 20 April 1990.

Two unprovenanced Bronze Age swords from Skye are discussed by Cowie and O'Connor in their 2007 article. The first was a sword with a bronze pommel, thought to have been lost. It was first recorded by Thomas Pennant, and was then was then said to be in the possession of MacLeod of Talisker, but by the 20th century its whereabouts was unknown. It was recorded in Burgess and Colquhoun's 1988 catalogue as no. 599. A sword within the NMS has since been recognised as this lost sword however; donated to the NMS in 1886, it at some stage suffered the loss of its pommel and breakage of the blade and this damage obscured the connection with the earlier account of the sword by Pennant. The re-identification of the sword (DL 36) have also indicated that in Burgess and Colquhoun's 1988 catalogue, no. 596 was describing the lower half of no. 589, and both were infact no. 599. All three nos. therefore referred to the same sword from Skye; a single Ewart Park sword of Step 2 in their Caledonian series.
The second sword discussed was a lost antennae pommel sword from Skye. This was said to have been discovered 'in a peat moss upon Lord Macdonalads's estate', sometime before 1820 and its description by Adam de Cardonnel in Relicta Antiqua suggests that it was part of a hoard. It is unknown where he recorded the sword, and attempts to trace its whereabouts have proved unsuccessful. <1>

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred NG 4500 3499 (4m by 4m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG43SE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish BRACADALE
Civil Parish PORTREE

Finds (1)

  • SWORD (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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