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


House Of The Fairies


<b>House Of The Fairies</b>Posted by drewbhoyImage © drew/A
Also known as:
  • 'Tigh an t'sithiche'

Nearest Town:Uig (134km E)
OS Ref (GB):   NF10019941
Latitude:57° 48' 49.84" N
Longitude:   8° 34' 14.38" W

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<b>House Of The Fairies</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>House Of The Fairies</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>House Of The Fairies</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>House Of The Fairies</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>House Of The Fairies</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>House Of The Fairies</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>House Of The Fairies</b>Posted by drewbhoy


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Walk north west from the burnt mound, past the houses and graveyard. Look carefully for a hole in the ground. This might seem easy but it isn't. Behind the village, indeed the whole of the natural amphitheatre, is covered in rocks all of which are the same colour.

The House Of The Fairies is one of St Kilda's most famous sites. Its north end is covered in grass whilst the southern end has its lintels exposed. Sadly the hole which can be seen is a hole in the roof which is half way along the original structure. Agriculture and dyke building has seen the other stones removed and the former southern end filled in. To get into the 9m remnants is easy enough and their is enough room for taller people to get to the end hunched down. About 5m from the entrance there is a small passage heading north east. Even at the entrance there seems to have been passages going in both directions, these might have been a wall that has been long since removed.

The fairies must have been nervous and decided to hide from view. Perhaps they'd gone to The Milking Stone, which we were going to next. It was a privilege to see and enter this site. A real taste of the prehistoric times and a good chance to appreciate their building skills.

Visited 2/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
14th September 2017ce
Edited 15th September 2017ce


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But the most extraordinary relic of antiquity in the village is a subterranean house. I had heard of it on my first visit; and on the 13th July 1876 determined to have it opened and examined. A crop of potatoes grew on the top, and the owner at first refused to allow this to be disturbed. But by dint of raillery, persuasion, and a promise to pay the damage, he at length acceded to my request. This underground dwelling was discovered about thirty-two years ago by a man who was digging the ground above it, and was generally called the House of the Fairies. The aperture on the top was filled up again, and it had never been opened since. But after a little search the hole was found and an entrance made. Two or three men volunteered to clear out the stones and soil that had accumulated on the floor to a depth of several feet, and worked with a will. The house was found to be twenty-five feet long by three feet eight inches wide, and about four feet in height. The walls consisted of three or four ranges of stones, a roof of slabs resting on the sides. This house runs due north and south, and curiously enough there is a drain under the floor. Amongst the debris on the floor I found numerous stone axes, knives, and fragments of a lamp, as well as pieces of rude pottery. As there was no tradition concerning this house, and as it is assigned to the fairies, it may be very old; but I am inclined to think that the stone period extended to a very recent date in St Kilda. I have some satisfaction in believing that I am the discoverer of stone implements in St Kilda, and that my claim has been recognised by the Society of Scottish Antiquaries.

From Life In St Kilda During the 1870s.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th January 2017ce


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In 1844 a souterrain was discovered, known to the islanders as the House Of Fairies. It consists of a lintelled passage, some 9m long with at least one known lateral branch. The stones used in its construction are large, with massive walls converging towards to the top to accommodate the lintels. The structure which has been excavated numerous times since 1844 with finds giving a suggested date back to the first or early second millennium AD. A few decorated potsherds are similar to standard Iron Age finds uncovered elsewhere in the Western Isles.

Lewis and Harris by Francis Thompson.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th January 2017ce


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Superb photos of the souterrain.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th January 2017ce