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

The present

[Rubh’ an Dùnain] is . . . an open time-capsule waiting to be examined

– Martin Wildgoose,
Skye archaeologist

Sowing the seeds of a new community

Formally protected as an Historic Monument by the Scottish government in 2017, Rubh’ an Dùnain continues to generate international interest. Historians, archaeologists and students of Gaelic and Celtic
heritage – as well as a curious public – want to understand more
about this mysterious and beguiling land.


Archaeologists believe that, until the middle of the 1800s, this
now-forgotten settlement had been in continuous occupation for perhaps 5000 years. The enthusiasm, knowledge and persistence of experts like
Roger Miket, Adam Welfare, Martin Wildgoose and Dr David Macfadyen has delivered a solid foundation of knowledge which deserves now to be further developed.


In this section, Dr Colin Martin, the eminent marine archaeologist
who has been leading recent research at the site, introduces the
about the landscape and Professor Hugh Cheape of Sabhal
Mòr Ostaig explains the role Gaelic
language and culture
can play in deepening our understanding of
the past.

As worldwide interest in Skye grows, Rubh' an
Dùnain itself is stimulating fresh ideas. A new piece of
involving designers, photographers and musicians from four
countries, is being filmed in 2019 at various locations on the
island, chosen because of the Viking harbour connection with Rubh' an

There is a palpable sense that Rubh' an Dùnain, empty today
save for the sheep, the curlew and the oystercatcher, could once again deliver a thriving community – at least
online. It contains aeons of undiscovered history; it is steeped in the
language and culture of the Gael, the Celt and the Viking; it boasts
wild natural habitats and unparalleled scenery – all of which have enormous potential for the
historian, the scientist, naturalists and scholars of all ages.

Time then now to consider its future . . .

how you can help repopulate Rubh' an Dùnain