A Flight To St. Kilda - by Rev. R.L. Lawson - Page 8
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The images and text of Rev. Lawson's booklet - A FLIGHT TO ST. KILDA - contributed by Ewen McGee whose grandfather was captain of the SS Hebrides from 1899 to 1921.

Pages: Cover | Publications | 3 |  4 |  5 | 6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11 |  12  | 13  | 14  | 15 | 16  |  17 | 18 | 19  | 20 | 21  | 22  | 23 |  SS Hebrides | Photos

                               A FLIGHT TO ST. KILDA                         8

proprietors of St. Kilda and of much of the land hereabout.  The Castle dates as far back as the ninth century, although the main portion was the work of Roderick More, who was knighted by King James VI.  Although somewhat old-fashioned externally, the rooms are comfortable, and contain some relics of the Jacobite rising; amongst others, a white satin vest embroidered by Flora Macdonald for Prince Charlie.  There is also an old Hebridean Drinking-horn, and the green silk Fairy flag described by Sir Walter Scott in his notes to the “Lord of the Isles.”  Near the Castle is the site of the College for pipers, founded by the M’Crimmons, very celebrated in their day.  Behind the Castle are two flat-topped hills called “Macleod's Tables.”  And off the coast are two picturesque rocks, called “Macleod's Maidens,” rising sheer out of the sea. 

In the Castle Hall there are a number of Assegais or shields from South Africa, with skins of various beasts of chase obtained by some of the Macleods who had travelled there.  On the seaward side the Castle stands on a cliff, resembling Tantallon or Culzean Castle in Ayrshire.  The lady who showed us through the house was a German, who spoke English so badly that it was next to impossible to know what she said.  But there was one thing that struck me with pleasure.  The flag was flying from the tower to show that the family were at home, and we hesitated to ring the bell, but were assured that the house was always open to visitors, no matter who were at home.  Even the Chief was there, and spoke to one or two of us, saying he would have conducted us through the rooms himself had it not been that he was just going off to London, and was engaged in preparatory business.  The whole was quite in keeping with the old Highland style, where Noblesse oblige is the ruling law.

I would rather draw a veil over the passage from Harris to St. Kilda.  It was night, and the Atlantic was rather unruly, and many of the passengers were very uncomfortable.  But fifty miles does not last for ever; and at two o'clock on Thursday morning we cast anchor in St. Kilda Bay, with a clear moon shining over us. (See Illustration.)  We had to wait here till the ferrymen came out for us — fare sixpence a head.  We were told that the steamer would leave

Pages: Cover | Publications | 3 |  4 |  5 | 6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11 |  12  | 13  | 14  | 15 | 16  |  17 | 18 | 19  | 20 | 21  | 22  | 23 |  SS Hebrides | Photos