Trumpan Church

Skye | Trumpan | Church |

[Trumpan Church]

This isolated ruin at the tip of Skye's Waternish peninsula was the site of one of Scotland's most gruesome massacres. Trumpan Church possibly dates to the 1300s, and on a fateful Sunday in May 1578 was filled with the resident MacLeod clan for the morning service. Unbeknownst to them, rival MacDonalds had alighted from warships at nearby Ardmore Bay. Blocking the church doors, the MacDonalds set the thatched roof alight in revenge for an equally horrific feud at Massacre Cave on the Isle of Eigg the previous year. All inside the church were killed by the resulting fire, except for a wounded young girl who managed to escape and raise the alarm. Other MacLeods soon arrived to gave battle, with the retreating MacDonalds unable to escape as their boats had been stranded by the falling tide. The MacLeods apparently unfurled their notorious Fairy Flag, giving them immense power; the bodies of the entire MacDonald marauding party were then piled up behind a dyke, which was then toppled over them. Ardmore Bay and the associated battleground is well seen from the westernmost fork of two possible access roads to the church, while the Fairy Flag is on display in Dunvegan Castle. And what about the church? To be truthful, this is a place worth visiting more for its historical significance than its physical appearance; meanwhile, Trumpan township was more or less abandoned following the events of 1578.

[Trumpan Church]

Location & info

📌 Trumpan Church
By minor road at Trumpan, Skye, G.R.: NG 225612 ///policy.acute.workloads
Always open | Free

[Trumpan Church]

[Graveyard with Ardmore Bay beyond]

[Viewpoint for Ardmore Bay - site of the Battle of the Spoiling of the Dyke]


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