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Sacred Hill


The is also a famous cave on the mountain's side - a direct connection with the underworld, so it seems.

This comes from the Rev. Robert MacDonald, a former minister of Fortingall, in the new Statistical Account for Scotland (Perthshire), published in 1845:
"There is a very remarkable cave near the south-west angle of Sith-chaillinn [Schiehallion], at the 'Shealing,' called Tom-a-mhorair, or the Earl's eminence. Some miles to the east, there is an opening in the face of a rock, which is believed to be the termination thereof. Several stories are told and believed by the credulous, relating to this cave; that the inside thereof is full of chambers or separate apartments, and that, as soon as a person advances a few yards, he comes to a door, which, the moment he enters, closes, as it opened, of its own accord, and prevents his returning."
Similarly in "Rambles in Breadalbane" (1891), the author, Ferguson remarks: "It is said that there are a long series of mysterious caves, extending from one side of the mountain to the other." And also there is this quote from "A Highland Parish or the History of Fortingall" (1928) by Alexander Stewart:
"Of all the caves in the Parish, the most remarkable is that at Tom a Mhorair, on the south side of Glenmore, near the west shoulder of Schiehallion. It has a fairly wide opening which extends for three or four yards. It then contracts and slants into total darkness in the bowels of the earth. Some miles to the east of this there is another opening, which tradition holds to be the other end of the cave. According to the traditional accounts, this cave was regarded as an abode of fairies and other supernatural beings, rather than a hiding place of mortals. The only men who were supposed to have lived there were individuals who were believed to have been in league with supernatural powers."
All these quotes were noted by Barry Dunford in his article "Schiehallion - Mount Zion in the far north" at (which seems to have suggestions much more speculative than mere supernatural underworlds).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th January 2005ce
Edited 29th January 2005ce

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