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TITLE
Bronze Strap-end from Ashaig, Isle of Skye
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_ARCH_0009A
PLACENAME
Ashaig
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Strath
PERIOD
11c
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
12821
KEYWORDS
archaeology
medieval period
book
bronze
Bronze Strap-end from Ashaig, Isle of Skye

This medieval bronze strap-end was discovered in 1994 at the ancient cemetery at Ashaig on Skye. An important religious site, Ashaig is linked with Saint Maol Rubha who lived from 642 to 722 AD. Maol Rubha was a disciple of St Columba, and established a monastic settlement at Applecross on the mainland. He was often ferried over to Skye and preached to the faithful from a small cell near the shore at Ashaig. The name 'Ashaig' comes from the Gaelic verb 'aisig', meaning 'to ferry over'. It is said that the saint hung his prayer bell from a nearby ash tree, and kept his book of the Scriptures in a recess of a rock. A votive well was constructed over a spring which rose close to the site and may have been a focus for pilgrims.

The strap-end has been identified as the terminal of a leather strap or belt. It is highly decorated on both sides, and may have been used as part of a catch on a book, rather than on an item of clothing. The interlacing foliate patterns suggest that it was made around the 11th century AD.

75 mm length, 15 mm wide, 3 mm thick


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Bronze Strap-end from Ashaig, Isle of Skye

INVERNESS: Strath

11c

archaeology; medieval period; book; bronze

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Artefact Collection, Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

This medieval bronze strap-end was discovered in 1994 at the ancient cemetery at Ashaig on Skye. An important religious site, Ashaig is linked with Saint Maol Rubha who lived from 642 to 722 AD. Maol Rubha was a disciple of St Columba, and established a monastic settlement at Applecross on the mainland. He was often ferried over to Skye and preached to the faithful from a small cell near the shore at Ashaig. The name 'Ashaig' comes from the Gaelic verb 'aisig', meaning 'to ferry over'. It is said that the saint hung his prayer bell from a nearby ash tree, and kept his book of the Scriptures in a recess of a rock. A votive well was constructed over a spring which rose close to the site and may have been a focus for pilgrims.<br /> <br /> The strap-end has been identified as the terminal of a leather strap or belt. It is highly decorated on both sides, and may have been used as part of a catch on a book, rather than on an item of clothing. The interlacing foliate patterns suggest that it was made around the 11th century AD.<br /> <br /> 75 mm length, 15 mm wide, 3 mm thick <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a><br />