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TITLE
Landing at Kyleakin, Skye
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_CARD_047
PLACENAME
Kyleakin
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Strath
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
12871
KEYWORDS
castles
ruins
ferries
transport
ferry boats
Landing at Kyleakin, Skye

A postcard of the Skye ferry landing at the slipway at the village of Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye. The remains of Castle Moil, which overlook the harbour, are seen in the background.

Castle Moil (in Gaelic, Caisteal Maol) was a three-story stronghold of the MacKinnons, dating from the 15th century. Tradition has it that there was a much earlier castle on the site, associated with the fourth MacKinnon chief, Findanus, and his Norwegian wife, a princess nicknamed 'Saucy Mary'. It is said that the pair ran a chain across the narrows and levied a toll on passing vessels.

The ferry seen in the foreground of the postcard appears to be a small steel-hulled turntable ferry. In 1942 a steel-hulled turntable ferry named 'Cuillin', capable of carrying two cars began working on the Kyle of Lochalsh-Kyleakin route, and in 1951 the almost identical 'Lochalsh' entered service.

Prior to the arrival of these steel-hulled vessels, timber-hulled turntable ferries operated on the route. In 1930, the 'Kyleakin', a timber-hulled turntable ferry capable of carrying one car began plying between Skye and the mainland. In 1936, the 'Moil', a ferry similar to the 'Kyleakin', but capable of carrying two cars arrived. These turntable ferries were an improvement on the smaller, more makeshift, launches that had previously worked the route.

Between 1952 and 1969, turntable ferries capable of carrying four or six cars were in operation, but the growth of private car ownership in the 1950s and 60s meant that these small ferries increasingly struggled to cope with demand. By the late 1960s ferry-users could sometimes queue for up to 12 hours before making the crossing during the summer months.

Finally in 1970 the 28-car ferry 'Kyleakin' entered service, and a year later, she was joined by her sister ship 'Lochalsh'. Despite some initial setbacks, locals and visitors alike were delighted with the improved service. The two ferries worked on the route until 1991, when they were replaced by two 36-car ferries, the 'Loch Fyne' and the 'Loch Dunvegan'. The ferry service operated between Kyleakin and Kyle of Lochalsh until 1995, when it was replaced by the Skye Bridge.


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Landing at Kyleakin, Skye

INVERNESS: Strath

1940s

castles; ruins; ferries; transport; ferry boats

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Dualchas Postcards

A postcard of the Skye ferry landing at the slipway at the village of Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye. The remains of Castle Moil, which overlook the harbour, are seen in the background.<br /> <br /> Castle Moil (in Gaelic, Caisteal Maol) was a three-story stronghold of the MacKinnons, dating from the 15th century. Tradition has it that there was a much earlier castle on the site, associated with the fourth MacKinnon chief, Findanus, and his Norwegian wife, a princess nicknamed 'Saucy Mary'. It is said that the pair ran a chain across the narrows and levied a toll on passing vessels. <br /> <br /> The ferry seen in the foreground of the postcard appears to be a small steel-hulled turntable ferry. In 1942 a steel-hulled turntable ferry named 'Cuillin', capable of carrying two cars began working on the Kyle of Lochalsh-Kyleakin route, and in 1951 the almost identical 'Lochalsh' entered service.<br /> <br /> Prior to the arrival of these steel-hulled vessels, timber-hulled turntable ferries operated on the route. In 1930, the 'Kyleakin', a timber-hulled turntable ferry capable of carrying one car began plying between Skye and the mainland. In 1936, the 'Moil', a ferry similar to the 'Kyleakin', but capable of carrying two cars arrived. These turntable ferries were an improvement on the smaller, more makeshift, launches that had previously worked the route.<br /> <br /> Between 1952 and 1969, turntable ferries capable of carrying four or six cars were in operation, but the growth of private car ownership in the 1950s and 60s meant that these small ferries increasingly struggled to cope with demand. By the late 1960s ferry-users could sometimes queue for up to 12 hours before making the crossing during the summer months.<br /> <br /> Finally in 1970 the 28-car ferry 'Kyleakin' entered service, and a year later, she was joined by her sister ship 'Lochalsh'. Despite some initial setbacks, locals and visitors alike were delighted with the improved service. The two ferries worked on the route until 1991, when they were replaced by two 36-car ferries, the 'Loch Fyne' and the 'Loch Dunvegan'. The ferry service operated between Kyleakin and Kyle of Lochalsh until 1995, when it was replaced by the Skye Bridge. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image may be available to purchase.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a><br />