This is a quite beautiful, desolate peninsula, best approached over the legendary Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle) – one of the highest roads in the British Isles. I’ve been here many times, usually in the dark season, when the land and I have much more time with each other. Tis an extraordinarily powerful region, with expectations of cailleach and kelpies; an abundance of wild scents; shore-lines breathing otters, porpoise, seals, peregrine, eagles and endless cries of colour; all littered with tens of thousands of barren, aged rocks that reach up to us with all-but forgotten histories…
Although not renowned for much archaeology, recent finds to the north of the village have pushed dates of human habitation in this part of Scotland back to 7500 BC. There are at least two settlement regions here and, according to the Cambridge biologist J. Havelock Fidler (who lived at nearby Shieldaig), “tradition tells there was once a stone circle” in the area. A local man thought he’d found it in the late 1990s at the back of his house just out of Applecross village itself, but this is sadly not true. Fidler (1983) himself described three otherwise unknown standing stones south of here at Toscaig, but they have yet to be located. There’s undoubtedly a lot more in this region that remains presently hidden from both eyes and textbooks.
Holy Well, Applecross – Holy Well
Milton Woods, Applecross – Standing Stone
Sand, Applecross – Settlement
Torr Mor, Applecross – Settlement
Toscaig, Applecross – Standing Stones
Uaimh Shianta, Fearnmore, Applecross – Sacred Cave
Fidler, J. Havelock, Ley Lines – Their Nature and Properties, Turnstone: Wellingborough 1983.
MacKenzie, Ian, Applecross: A Glimpse of History, Applecross Historical Society 1999.