Monday, 6 July 2009

Ancestry Tours of Castle Moil Skye Scotland

Ancestry Tours of Castle Moil, Isle of Skye, Scotland. A ruined castle located near the harbour of the village of Kyleakin. The castle, an ancient seat of the Mackinnon clan, was a fortress commanding the narrow sound between Skye and the mainland, through which all ships had to pass or else attempt the stormy passage of The Minch. The present building dates back to the 15th century, but is traditionally reputed to be of much earlier origin. According to that tradition, AlpĂ­n mac Echdach's great-grandson Findanus, the 4th MacKinnon chief, brought Dunakin into the clan around the year 900 by marrying a Norse princess nicknamed 'Saucy Mary'. Findanus and his bride ran a heavy chain across the sound and levied a toll on all shipping vessels. The Princess lies buried on Beinn na Cailleach on Skye, her face reputedly turned towards Norway.

Whatever the veracity of the castle's traditional history, there is good reason for supposing the existence of a connection of some kind with Norway. King Haakon IV is thought to have assembled his fleet of longships there before the Battle of Largs in 1263, hence the name Kyleakin or Haakon's kyle. Haakon's defeat there effectively ended Norse domination of the islands. Mediaeval and early modern documents also refer to the castle itself as Dunakin, Dun-Haakon, which is again strongly suggestive of a Norse connection.

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