MHG6253 - Souterrain - Uamh Nan Ramh


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Type and Period (1)

  • SOUTERRAIN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Between the 25th and 29th of March, 1991, Skye and Lochalsh Museums Service and the Raasay Heritage Society cleared the souterrain of recently accumulated domestic rubbish (ie 20th century) down to, but not into, presumed archaeological deposits. During removal of the rubbish 3 fallen cap-stones/lintels were removed from the pasage floor. These lintels are on display to the left of the souterrain's upper entrance. Visited by M Wildgoose April 1991.
R Miket et al 1991; NMRS MS/530.

A souterrain about 120+m long was visited in 1773 by Johnstone in 'Journey to the Western Isles' and in Boswell's 'Tour of the Hebrides', quote "A little from the shore, westward, is a kind of subterranian house. There has been a natural fissure or separation of rock running towards the sea which has been roofed over with long stones, and above them turf has been laid."
The souterrain lies on a craggy mound, covered in small shrubs and trees 2.5m west of the main Inverarish-Clachan road, opposite the old Post Office. The site overlooks a small burn running from Loch a'Mhuilinn, to the south. It is formed by roofing a natural fissure with large lintels but in places these are supported by built up sides of stone where the fissure sides are too low. There is a small break in the passage roof 6-7m from the entrance where a lintel is missing. However, this has been used as a rubbish tip which blocks further access to the passage. The passage carries on for another 7-8m before it terminates where a large lintel has fallen in, it may have went further.
Visited by A Nicolson 2 July 1990.

The tradition, and the name "Uamh nan Ramh", which is as described by prevous OS field investigator, are still known locally.
Visited by OS (RL) 22 September 1971.

A cleft 0.9m wide, in an outcrop of rock facing E, has been roofed over with heavy stone lintels, from a point 4.0m from the face of the outcrop and extending 4.5m W, the lintels at the entrance being 1.1m above ground level and the roofing sloping down to the rear of the 'cave', the whole being covered over with earth and turf. The feature has the appearance of considerable age.
Visited by OS (ASP) 12 June 1961.

Uamh nan Ramh was visited in 1773 by Dr Johnson.
R W Chapman 1924

(NG 5495 3639) Uamh nan Ramh (NAT)
OS 25"map, Isle of Skye, (1877)

This is an artificial cave, formed by covering the space between two parallel rocks, and situated in a plantation about 1/4 mile SE of Raasay House. It was formerly used for concealing boat oars, hence the name, which means "Oar Cave".
Name Book 1877.

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred NG 5495 3639 (34m by 30m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NG53NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish PORTREE

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