The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Claigan Souterrain


<b>Claigan Souterrain</b>Posted by Forgetful CatImage © Forgetful Cat
Nearest Town:Uig (18km NE)
OS Ref (GB):   NG238539 / Sheet: 23
Latitude:57° 29' 27.54" N
Longitude:   6° 36' 36.23" W

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<b>Claigan Souterrain</b>Posted by Forgetful Cat <b>Claigan Souterrain</b>Posted by Forgetful Cat <b>Claigan Souterrain</b>Posted by Forgetful Cat


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Visited 28.7.13

Park in the car park for the Coral Beaches (personally I didn’t think they were worth the effort of the long walk, although seeing a herd of cows on the beach was a novelty!) Walk up the track opposite the car park and then over the metal field gate which was locked and had barbed wire looped over it. Once you have negotiated that, keep on the track and do the same at the next locked/barbed wire gate. The 3rd gate had neither a lock nor barbed wire (I guess the owner probably thought you would have given up by that point. But he didn’t reckon on a determined TMAer!).
Continue on track until it curves to the right and you will see a tiny ‘ravine’ on the left. The Souterrain is the other side of the ‘ravine’ and is NOT visible from the track.
It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the car park to the Souterrain.

Upon locating the Souterrain the next tricky bit was to get inside. The entrance is very small and I had to ‘command crawl’ on my belly in the mud to get into the chamber. Once past the narrow entrance it opens us a bit and I was able to waddle, which is just as well as it was very wet and muddy inside. The passageway is about 3ft high x 2ft wide – no good if you are claustrophobic!

I had got about 8 metres in and as I was starting to admire the excellent stonework the batteries in my head light started to fail. (Spares back at the car) Slowly but surely my light grew dimmer and dimmer. I was just about able to note that the end of the chamber seemed to curve upward and grow narrower. Soon it was completely dark except from the light from the entrance. It was time to gingerly make my way out.

I crawled back out into the bright light and noticed a lot of animal droppings on the floor – luckily no one was home!

This is an excellent site to visit and if you are able to get over the fences and crawl into a narrow passageway (and don’t mind getting muddy) this is well worth the effort.

I was really pleased to have seen this one.
Posted by CARL
16th August 2013ce

Although some references say that this site is hard to find/access, we had no problems. It is easily reachable from the parking place for the 'coral beaches'. Most visitors to Skye will go to these, and the site is worth the 1 mile or so detour.

The entrance is a bit intimidating, but once through, the tunnel opens out, and is crouching height (I'm 6' tall). Lined with stones, and extending some 10m, narrowing to the end, the structure is an engineering achievement.

This is the first souterrain I've visited, and I felt that the explanation of them as refuges from raiders seemed unliklely. You couldn't have a group of people sheltering here for more than an hour or two before it became uncomfortable to say the least.

In 'Places Of Power' Paul Devereux suggests that the Cornish Fogous may have had ritual functions, and one could certainly imagine, as one exits this site through the constricted opening, that it was used for ritual involving a second birth from the earth. More prosaically, having visited on a scorching June day, I wondered whether it was in fact some sort of early icehouse.
Posted by Forgetful Cat
17th June 2006ce
Edited 23rd June 2006ce