A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Kilmuir, a hamlet and a parish in Skye district, Inverness-shire. The hamlet lies on the NW coast of the Isle of Skye, 4 miles N of Uig, and 20 NNW of Portree, under which it has a post office. The parish church here, built in 1810, contains 700 sittings. In the churchyard is the grave of Flora Macdonald (1721-90), the guide and protectress of Prince Charles Edward after the '45, with an Iona cross of Aberdeen granite, 28½ feet high, erected in 1880 to replace one of 1871, which was blown down and broken by a gale of Dec. 1873. The parish, containing also the hamlet of Staffins, with another post office under Portree, comprises the ancient parishes of Kilmuir, Kilmaluig, and Kilmartin, and comprehends the northern and north-eastern portions of Trotternish peninsula, with the islets of Iasgair, Altavaig, Fladda, Fladdachuaim, Tulm, and Trodda. It is bounded N and E by the sea, S by Portree, and W by Snizort. Its utmost length, from NNW to SSE, exclusive of the islets, is 15 miles; its utmost breadth is 6 miles; and its area is 35, 035 acres, of which 409 are foreshore and 210 water. The several islets, and the principal features and objects of the mainland districts are separately noticed; and a general view of the coasts and of the interior is given in our articles on Skye and Trotternish. The parish is divided into the three districts of Kilmuir proper, Kilmaluig, and Stenscholl. The best lands form the largest continuous cultivated tract in Skye, called the Plain of Kilmuir; the next best lands are congeries of little hills, principally green, many of them isolated, with small intervening glens, traversed by brooks or occupied by lakes; and the other lands, comprising the central tracts southward to the boundaries with Portree and Snizort, include the lofty precipitous hill embosoming Quiraing, and the northern parts of the craggy, shattered, pinnacled mountain of Storr. Less than one-sixth of the entire area is in tillage, the rest being either meadow-land, hill pasture, or waste. The principal antiquities, besides Duntulm Castle, are vestiges of cairns, remnants of Caledonian stone circles, 6 dunes or Scandinavian forts, and ruins or traces of several pre-Reformation chapels. William Fraser, Esq. of Kilmuir, is almost sole proprietor. Including almost all Stenscholl quoad sacra parish, Kilmuir is in the presbytery of Skye and synod of Glenelg; the living is worth £190. A Free Church charge, with two places of worship, is in Kilmuir civil parish; and two public schools, Kilmuir and Kilmaluig, with respective accommodation for 125 and 85 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 49 and 59, and grants of £28, 3s. and £30, 16s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £3494, (1882) £6175. Pop. (1801) 2555, (1841) 3625, (1861) 2846, (1871) 2567, (1881) 2562, of whom 2521 were Gaelic-speaking, and 1265 were in Kilmuir ecclesiastical parish.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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