Monday, August 30, 2010

Walking Tour of Finlaggan

During the time of the medieval Lordship of the Isles, Finlaggan could easily be considered the 'capital' of the Isles.  Finlagan was divided into two parts, Eilean Mor (Large Island) and Eilean na Comhairle (Council Island).

Eilean Mor was the living area, and included the great hall of Clan Donald as well as a Chapel and other structures.   Eilean na Comhairle was where the Council of the Isles would meet, which can thought of as a 'parliament' or sorts where disputes could be settled, and other important issues could be discussed and addressed.

The Mackinnon clan was amply represented during these council meetings, as the MacKinnon Chief was a valued member of the council.  During much of this period MacKinnons were also the abbots of Iona, and thus had two seats at the council table.

If you'd like to find out more about Finlaggan and what it was like during its heyday, the BBC has posted Neil Oliver's walking tour of Finlaggan over at their Open University website.  It's formulated similar to radio show in some ways, including commentaries from locals, archaeologists, and historians.  It's worth a listen if you have the time, though it is rather lengthy at nearly fourty minutes in length.  If you have an Ipod or another device that plays MP3s you can download the file and listen to it at your convenience.

(Also, if you visit the first pair of links I posted above, they contain maps of the Isles in question if you wish to follow along as the tour goes on - Finlaggan has also been added to the MacKinnon map).

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