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Isle Of Skye History!

There is evidence that the Isle of Skye has been inhabited since Mesolithic times. Isle of Skye history, as you can imagine, is therefore rich and varied with inhabitants dating back to the 7th century BC. Through the years the island has been home to many peoples and much activity for such a relatively small place.

Isle of Skye history is, for many, all about the Norse invasions. The island was ruled by the Vikings from the 9th century until the 13th century when the Treaty of Perth ended the wars between the Vikings and the Scots. This treaty ceded control of the island from the Norwegian forces to Scottish rulers. There is not a lot of evidence of this Viking rule on the island today but some clans can trace their descendants back to the Norwegian invaders.

Under initial Scottish rule much of the Isle of Skye history at this point was involved with a variety of clans, including the Clan MacLeod and the Clan MacDonald. These were warring factions and the island saw many disputes between the two families including the Battle of the Spoiling Dyke in the 1570s.

One of the most famous events in Isle of Skye history came in the 1700s during the Jacobite rebellion. The Scottish Prince, Charles Stuart, was rescued from under the noses of opposing Hanoverian soldiers by a local island woman, Flora MacDonald and secreted to safety via the Isle of Skye. This famous escape gave birth to the equally famous Scottish folk song — the Skye Boat Song.

From this point the ruling clans of the island were replaced in island rule by a series of estates. This period of Isle of Skye history can still be seen, however, in the castles and buildings that date back to this time including Dunvegan Castle, Armadale Castle, Knock Castle and Dunscaith Castle.

In the 18th century Isle of Skye history entered a darker phase as famine hit the island. The Highland Clearances that displaced people from the Highlands areas also had an effect on the island. This led to frequent skirmishes with the police and the armed forces and led to a significant dip in the island’s population which can still be seen today. In the early 1800s, for example, the island has over 20,000 inhabitants. By 2001 this number stood at just over 9,000.

People interested in learning more about Isle of Skye history might do well to take a visit to the island. Its population now mainly works in the tourism, agriculture, fishing and whisky distilling areas and this has become a popular holiday destination.