Welcome to the township of Flodigarry
A path takes you to the shore where you can look back on the rugged landscape of the Quiraing. For millions of years, there has been a localised geological slippage, which is still ongoing today. This phenomenon is caused by the distinctive soft layers of Jurassic rock being crushed by the heavy overlying lavas.
PAINTING DETAIL -
BY ALLAN RAMSAY
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Flodigarry has a more famous association – with the Jacobite heroine, Fionnghal nighean Raghnaill ‘ic Aonghais Òig... Flora MacDonald was a brave young 24 year old girl who aided the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746. Four years later, she began her married life at Flodigarry Farm along with ‘Ailean nam mìle mart’ - Allan MacDonald of Kingsburgh. At least five of the couple’s seven children were born here.
By 1910, the traditional Flodigarry farm was broken up into fourteen smallholdings (crofts). The incoming tenants moved from Digg and Glasphein, in Staffin. Tini ‘ain Cheararaigh told us how her granny was carried to Flodigarry on her son’s back.
At the end of the path you look across to Flodigarry Island or Eilean à Chinn Mhòir - the island of the big rise. However, in his ‘Description of the Western Islands of Scotland’ in the 1690s, Martin Martin calls the island by a third name - Eilean Altabhaig – swan (like) island. ‘Martin Martin Gentleman’ was the most famous son of the Martins of Bealach (by Duntulm). He recorded for us ‘from within’ the original screenplay of life on the west coast of Scotland. He would no doubt be delighted to know that his work is quoted every day by those of us who grapple to understand our world in former times.
"Mu mhìle gu tuath, tha Eilean Altabhaig, le creig àird air an taobh an ear, agus le faisg air dà mhìle de chladach. Canaidh iad gu bheil e torach a thaobh arbhair agus feòir. Tha caibeal beag ann, coisrigte don Naomh Turos. Tha sgeir mu 40 slat a dh’fhaid aig ceann tuath an eilein agus deagh ainm aice airson a liuthad èisg a gheibhear an sin. Chithear lìonmhorachd sgadain mun sgeir seo fad an t-samhraidh, chor ‘s gu bheil na h-eathraichean iasgaich air an glacadh, mar gum biodh, anns na sgaothan èisg." Màrtainn MacGilleMhàrtainn
People from this township remember planting potatoes where the sea is now. An abundance of fossil debris can be found on our rocky shore. Please contact The Staffin Museum if you discover an interesting find.
Flodigarry has strong Viking connections, as they conquered Skye around 800 AD. They gave their own name to ‘Staffin’ – ‘place of pillars’ and they claimed the peninsula as ‘Thrond’s headland’ - Trotternish.
Flodigarry has evidence of Early Christian sites. Place-names and the oral tradition tell us that there was a church dedicated to David - marked today by a Celtic cross on the rotunda of the hotel. Martin Martin records that there was a chapel here dedicated to Saint Turos/Dòras. The stretch of water between the island and the shoreline is called Poll Dòrais – the pool of Dòras. Two of the most celebrated saints – Columba and Mo Luag – are commemorated in place-names near to Staffin.