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

Isle of Skye


"Strath appears to have been a great religious centre ever since prehistoric times. The remains of several stone circles are still to be seen there, in close juxtaposition to a number of ancient churches now in ruins. It seems generally agreed that before St. Columba brought Christianity to Skye the pagan religion of the island was that mysterious cult which has come to us only in the form of stone circles (believed to have been places of worship), monoliths (which in Skye seem to have been frequently connected with graves or burial mounds), and sacred wells and woods, the latter usually hazel groves. St. Columba never attempted to destroy the sacred places of paganism nor the firm belief in the virtues of certain harmless practices he found: instead he blessed them and gave them Christian symbolism, as in the story of St. Turog and the wells at Flodigarry. This is very clearly illustrated in Strath, where five old churches or chapels, now in ruins, stand each beside or near a stone circle, and the graveyards all contain some prehistoric stones as well as having tradition that they were first pagan burial-grounds and later Christian."

- Otta F. Swire, Skye: The Island and its Legends, 1961, pp. 217-8.
TomBo Posted by TomBo
30th June 2004ce
Edited 22nd March 2011ce

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