Massacre Cave – The MacDonalds of Clanranald and The MacLeods

Isle of Eigg

Isle of Eigg

The Isle of Eigg is situated in the heart of Clanranald country, this small island has very bloody history being  involved in every MacDonald rebellion against the crown and in a good many feuds. A lengthy feud between the MacDonalds and the MacLeods in the 16th Century led to the death of 395 MacDonalds in 1577, the island’s entire population, in “Uamha Fhraing” (Cave of Frances, aka Massacre Cave) The Clanranald residents of the island took refuge in a cave on the south coast and they were suffocated by a fire lit at the entrance by a party of MacLeods in what apparently was a revenge attack. The feud was finally ended some years later by the marriage of Alan of Moidart to the daughter of MacLeod of MacLeod. Hugh Miller visited this notorious cave three centuries later, in 1844, and described in his book, “The Cruise Of The Betsy,” seeing the bones of adults and children in family groups with the charred remains of their straw mattresses and small household objects. All were finally removed for burial in hallowed ground.

"Uamha Fhraing" (Cave of Frances, aka Massacre Cave), Isle of Eigg

“Uamha Fhraing” (Cave of Frances, aka Massacre Cave), Isle of Eigg



About Amanda Moffet

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

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3 thoughts on “Massacre Cave – The MacDonalds of Clanranald and The MacLeods

  1. Bobby Marshall

    only problem is your small photo you have up is NOT the massacre cave, that is the Cathedral Cave which is a bit further round the coarse from the Massacre Cave


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