Nicholson’s Leap

Dùn Othail

Dùn Othail

There is an old legend from the Isle of Lewis which tells the story behind “Leum Mhac Nicol” or “Nicholson‘s Leap”, a rockravine which seperates Dùn Othail from the mainland.

Legend has it a MacNeacail man had commited a crime and was sentenced by the chief of Lewis to be castrated.  Once this horrific sentance was carried out, the castrated man full of fury at what had been done to him sought revenge by kidnapping the chief’s only child.  MacNeacail took the child  to the ravine and leaped across the chasm. He threatened to throw the child into the sea unless the chief himself agreed to be mutilated as well. Attempts at rescuing the child failed and the chief finally agreed to the mans terms. Just as the chief consented MacNeacail leaped over the cliff and into the sea with the child crying out in Gaelic. “I shall have no heir, and he shall have no heir”.


About Amanda Moffet

I run with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

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4 thoughts on “Nicholson’s Leap

  1. john nicholson

    my family crest as given to me by my father shows a lion rampant wearing a crown over a field of ermine and flames with the motto per castra ad astra. can you tell me the history.

  2. Debra Lynn Nicholson

    I am of Scot on both sides and am having trouble – how can I find which crest I belong to? The other side is cranna from around Edinburgh, can’t locate them but my Grandfather -William Robert Cranna was born on boat Dec. 20, 1870. Father James Anderson Cranna 1-17-1838/8-24-1899 Mother Jeanette Mitchell 1845-1915


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