Clan MacNicol Land Appeal

The cliffs of Ben Chracaig looking north over the Sound of Raasay

The cliffs of Ben Chracaig looking north over the Sound of Raasay

Donors are currently being sought to help preserve ancestral land home to Clan MacNicol/MacNeacail for at least 800 years. The Clan MacNicol Federation are currently seeking donations from around the world to cover maintenance, insurance and upkeep on land known as Scorrybreac at Ben Chracaig on the Isle of Skye.

Scorrybreck spans 130 acres of hillside and cliff-tops adjacent to Loch Portree and the town of Portree on Skye. The lands are situated half a mile from the ruins of Scorrybreck House on Ben Torvaig, where the chiefs of the MacNicols lived for hundreds of years up until the last chief left around 1826 to settle in Australia. In 1987 part of the ancient lands of Scorrybreac were purchased by members of Clan MacNicol from around the world.

Today the land is kept entirely for conservation purposes, with the only new additions being a footpath, memorial clan and flagpole erected by the clan society. Between 1993 and 2003 the clan had a management agreement with the Skye and Lochalsh District Council, who provided help with maintenance. However this agreement was not renewed in 2003 because of budget constraints, and was the main reason for the decision to begin appealing to clan members and others around the world for support.

Ben Chracaig, Clan MacNicol Land

Ben Chracaig, Clan MacNicol Land

The land at Scorrybreck is described as very rugged, and include a popular walking circuit open to the public known as the Portree Circuit. Funds raised by the clan currently go towards repair work on the track, as well as general upkeep and public liability insurance. Unpredictable emergencies, such as landslides, also have to be dealt with by having a contingency fund available.

Clan MacNicol have played an important part in the history of Skye. The Reverend Donald Nicolson of Scorrybreac, head of the clan at the end of the 17th century, is a well known figure in clan history and reputed to have had 23 children, through whom he is a common ancestor of many Skye families. Many members of the wider clan and septs were involved in concealing Bonnie Prince Charlie on Skye after his defeat at Culloden in 1745.

Information about becoming a friend of Scorrybreck can be found here.


About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

View all posts by Nadine Lee →

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