|Scottish Gaelic: Aiseag|
Ashaig shown within the Isle of Skye
|OS grid reference|
|Lieutenancy area||Ross and Cromarty|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||ISLE OF SKYE|
|UK Parliament||Ross, Skye and Lochaber|
|Scottish Parliament||Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch|
Ashaig (Scottish Gaelic: Aiseag, referring to a ferry) is a small township, situated adjacent to Upper Breakish and Lower Breakish near Broadford on the island of Skye, Scotland. For administrative purposes, it lies in the Highland Council area.
Ashaig is the site of Broadford Airfield, which is no longer used for commercial flights. There is a large and attractive sandy beach at the end of the airstrip, except at high tide.
Connection with St Maelrubha
The old burial ground at Ashaig, which is still in use, reflects the site's ancient religious associations. By tradition, it is closely connected with St. Maelrubha (c.642-722), the apostle to Skye, who is said variously to have sailed over from Applecross (on a large flat stone) and to have occupied the small island of Pabay opposite the beach. There are still to be seen the sacred spring that started when the saint tore a small tree from the ground and a rocky crag above the river, which he is said to have used as a pulpit (Creag an leabhair, "the rock of the book"). The saint's bell, which is supposed to have hung from a tree and to have pealed of its own accord in order to summon the faithful, is no longer in evidence.
The spring is covered by a stone-built well-house. Conservation work in 1994 revealed that it was fed by a channel from an earlier stone-lined spring. One of the lintels of the linking channel bore a lozenge 75mm long, and a cross-marked stone was found near the well-house. A neolithic axe was also found near the spring.
Within the burial ground, the remains of a mediaeval church ("Cill Ashik") were still in existence as late as the middle of the 19th century.
- Hugh Barron, The County of Inverness (Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, 1985), at page 532
- For an idea of the present location and appearance of the spring, see The Megalithic Portal, Tobar Ashik (web-site accessed on 29 June 2010)
- Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Archaeological Notes (web-site accessed on 29 June 2010)
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