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TITLE
Dunvegan, The Cup, Horn and Fairy Flag
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_CARD_095
PLACENAME
Dunvegan
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Duirinish
PERIOD
1910s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
12913
KEYWORDS
clans
Clan MacLeod
relics
Dunvegan, The Cup, Horn and Fairy Flag

Situated on a rocky promontory in northwest Skye, Dunvegan Castle has been home to the MacLeod Chiefs for nearly 800 years and has survived the many changes in life in the Highlands over the centuries.

Housed in the North Room are two treasures of the Castle. The Dunvegan Cup was given to Rory Mor, 16th Chief, by the O'Neills of Ulster as thanks for his service to them during wars with Queen Elizabeth l in the 1590s. A silver sheath surrounds the wooden cup inside and is said to be 500 years old. It has an inscription in Latin which reads: 'Katherine daughter of King Neill, wife of MacGuire Prince of Fermanagh had me made in the year of God 1493'. Displayed near to the Dunvegan Cup is the Horn of Rory Mor. The horn holds over one and a half bottles of claret, and tradition says that on coming of age, the Chief's heir must down the contents without setting down the horn, or falling down.

Pictured behind these two relics is the treasure always associated with the MacLeod Clan, the Fairy Flag, or Am Bratach Sith. The tales of the origin of the Fairy Flag take their themes from the Fairies and Crusaders. Was it given to a MacLeod on crusade, or left by the fairies swaddling a MacLeod baby in its cot, or handed to a Chief by his fairy wife of 20 years who was returning to Fairyland? There is the belief that the Fairy Flag holds the power to save the Clan in times of danger. In recorded battles the Chief is said to have waved the flag at a critical time and it brought victory to the Clan.

The flag was examined in the early 20th century by Mr Wace from the Victoria and Albert Museum who concluded that the fabric was from Syria or Rhodes, and a precious relic. The silk fabric, thought to have been once dyed yellow, deteriorated over the years becoming tattered and extremely fragile. It is now mounted and framed behind glass and prominently displayed in the Castle drawing room.


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Dunvegan, The Cup, Horn and Fairy Flag

INVERNESS: Duirinish

1910s

clans; Clan MacLeod; relics

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Dualchas Postcards

Situated on a rocky promontory in northwest Skye, Dunvegan Castle has been home to the MacLeod Chiefs for nearly 800 years and has survived the many changes in life in the Highlands over the centuries. <br /> <br /> Housed in the North Room are two treasures of the Castle. The Dunvegan Cup was given to Rory Mor, 16th Chief, by the O'Neills of Ulster as thanks for his service to them during wars with Queen Elizabeth l in the 1590s. A silver sheath surrounds the wooden cup inside and is said to be 500 years old. It has an inscription in Latin which reads: 'Katherine daughter of King Neill, wife of MacGuire Prince of Fermanagh had me made in the year of God 1493'. Displayed near to the Dunvegan Cup is the Horn of Rory Mor. The horn holds over one and a half bottles of claret, and tradition says that on coming of age, the Chief's heir must down the contents without setting down the horn, or falling down.<br /> <br /> Pictured behind these two relics is the treasure always associated with the MacLeod Clan, the Fairy Flag, or Am Bratach Sith. The tales of the origin of the Fairy Flag take their themes from the Fairies and Crusaders. Was it given to a MacLeod on crusade, or left by the fairies swaddling a MacLeod baby in its cot, or handed to a Chief by his fairy wife of 20 years who was returning to Fairyland? There is the belief that the Fairy Flag holds the power to save the Clan in times of danger. In recorded battles the Chief is said to have waved the flag at a critical time and it brought victory to the Clan.<br /> <br /> The flag was examined in the early 20th century by Mr Wace from the Victoria and Albert Museum who concluded that the fabric was from Syria or Rhodes, and a precious relic. The silk fabric, thought to have been once dyed yellow, deteriorated over the years becoming tattered and extremely fragile. It is now mounted and framed behind glass and prominently displayed in the Castle drawing room. <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 />