Skye’s Hidden Heritage
Discover the lost settlement of Rubh’ an Dùnain
English Gàidhlig
Rubh’ an Dùnain


Skye's Hidden Heritage was launched in 2015 in an attempt not only to deliver a virtual information point about Rubh' an Dùnain, but also to try to re-establish a community in an historic landscape which has been derelict for so long.

The website has already welcomed thousands of visitors from all over the world. However, to continue to grow and thrive, any strong and vibrant community demands friendship and support.

The MacAskills of Rubh' an Dùnain Society is actively engaged in trying to create a broad-based online community representing everyone who has an interest in this land – formally designated in 2017 as a Historic Monument. Our vision is for Skye's Hidden Heritage to become the focus of Friends of Rubh' an Dùnain – a dynamic forward-looking virtual community, existing both online and offline, which will:

  • Engage with supporters of all ages, near and far
  • Develop and extend social media interaction
  • Offer a platform for exchange of research information; publicise results; fund raise
  • Demonstrate the relevance of timeless history within a contemporary landscape
  • Become a tangible a reference point for the study of indigenous Gaelic tradition, from boat-building to language and culture
  • Help foster West Highland tourism
  • We invite all visitors, regardless of their location, language or culture, to add their views below about the peninsula, its history, this website – and how best we can repopulate Rubh' an Dùnain – online at least.

    Alternatively, you can email us privately here. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Comments: 10 (Add)

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    Tricia Barson on November 1 2017 at 23:49

    My direct maternal line ends with Catherine & Ewan McAskill born between 1790-1800. I doubt I will find any further records. We were also cleared and immigrated to Canada. I had the opportunity to visit Isle of Skye last May with my mother. It was amazing. While there visiting the records at Armadale castle the lady helping us told us about Rubh' an Dunain. We did the walk and I can't wait to go back. I appreciate this website and going through the virtual walk. I hope more excavations can happen so we can learn more. Fun place!

    David McCaskill on March 13 2017 at 09:38

    As an exiled McCaskill I have studied the history of my West Highland roots for many years and have found your website a source of great information and entertainment. To be able to view the land of my forefathers from my home in western Canada is a joy. It delivers a real sense of belonging.

    The concept of repopulating this area via an online community is a novel approach and exciting. It seems to offer a wealth of opportunities across a wide spectrum, but particularly for Gaelic culture, history and language. Developed in the right manner, I think it stands a good chance of capturing the imagination of young people who so often feel the need to migrate to large cities and other lands.

    I will be happy to lend my support in whatever way you think best and look forward to further details.

    Gustaf Anthony Keen on September 27 2015 at 22:54

    On 2 September 2015 my wife and I from Cape Town in South Africa travelled by train from Glasgow to Mallaig en route to Skye for a visit to my wife's sister recently moved to there . In the train we sat opposite an elderly gentleman who turned out to be one David MacFadyen of Tarskavaig on Skye .He told us briefly about a Viking canal at Rubh' an Dunain and mentioned he had picked up a piece of a ship's timber dated to about 1200 . My sister in law and husband had also heard of this Viking canal and were interested in visiting the area so we resolved to take a walk there a day or two later from Glen Brittle car park .This we did on a fine clear day with the Cuillins free of cloud . We walked and discovered many things new to us . We had only the Landranger topo map as guide but we found the tacksman house , the lochan with canal and adjacent ruins , the cave , and the Dun wall , and we visited the chambered cairn . We scrambled up the heights to get excellent views of sea and mountain . We had a wonderful day out in the wilds of Scotland with clearly a lot of fascinating history under foot . Upon return to civilisation we dived into the internet to find out more about these exciting places we had visited . Then we found your excellent website with all its fascinating information and links to fill in the background . Your "virtual journey" is almost exactly what we had done and remains as a wonderful reminder of our visit . The references you hide away under "Library" deserve much better display . The 2015 essay by Colin Martin is particulary interesting . The RCAHMS and their "canmore" websites have a wealth of information and illustrations , all cross linked . Our whole journey has proved fascinating and very much helped by your really very good website . Perhaps we should have done our homework first - studying your website before visiting , but there is much satisfaction in exploring totally unknown territory and finding things for yourself and then reading about it . Thank you for your help .

    Ronald Macaskill Watt on August 26 2015 at 09:57

    I came across the article in History Scotland. Which led me to your site.
    Not digested it yet but most interesting.

    When we tried to walk to Rhu an Dunain my wife was not well and we had to turn back a few hundred yards short, so I greatly appreciate the virtual walk.

    My mother wrote an article on The Macaskills of Rhu an Dunain but Bill's is much more detailed.

    Now I will be looking for work on the Macaskills who remained on Skye. Our lot moved north to Ramasaig in Duirinish but were again cleared at least twice

    Ronald Macaskill Watt

    Don Currie, Edinburgh on June 25 2015 at 16:26

    What a great resource - really imaginative and original.

    Calum MacAskill on April 13 2015 at 14:12

    Well done to all involved a very professional and informative site

    Coinneach on April 12 2015 at 10:39

    Excellent work - looking v. professional .. I'll disseminate to guides

    Joanne Dodge, Charlotte, North C on April 9 2015 at 15:16

    Excellent site. The virtual tour is wonderful.

    Marjory Danskin on March 30 2015 at 15:40

    I will be visiting Skye on holiday soon and it is wonderful to have a chance to learn about some of its history, without necessarily having to make such a long walk. Your virtual tour is perfect for a 'senior' like me.

    M J Danskin, Bedford, England

    Brian Macdonald on March 30 2015 at 15:34

    What a treat to find this site! I visited Rubh an Dunain last year on a family holiday and am heading back to Skye this summer. But I had no idea about the history of the place when I visited.

    Absolutely fascinating. Thank you!