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TITLE
Beal Head, Portree, Skye
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_2465
PLACENAME
Portree
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
PERIOD
1920s; 1930s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
34370
KEYWORDS
cliffs
chapel
graveyard
Beal Head, Portree, Skye

The cliffs pictured are situated just to the north of Portree. The Beal, Bile or Biel, an area of pasture for grazing cattle, lies below Dun Torvaig and the crofting township of Torvaig. The grassy sloping field, hemmed in by steep cliffs behind and the sea in front, may have been the location of a cell or chapel of Talorgan, one of several solitary holy men drawn to these once remote areas in times gone by.

An Ancient Church and Burying Ground, known as Bile Chapel, is marked on an Admiralty chart of 1847, and in 1914 the remains of a small church, with walling 2ft 9" thick and surrounded by a burial ground was described in the parish Statistical Account. Sadly, by the end of the century, a few scattered stones were all that indicated the location of a building over 26ft long and 13ft wide. The unfenced graveyard fell into disuse when the one in Portree was opened in the mid-18th century however a single gravestone remains intact at Bile. The stone marks the grave of Richard Williams, Captain's Coxswain on H.M.S. Porcupine, a naval survey vessel engaged in hydro-graphic surveys in north west Scotland as well as further afield. Williams apparently committed suicide in February 1861, and perhaps for this reason was buried outwith Portree graveyard

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Beal Head, Portree, Skye

INVERNESS: Portree

1920s; 1930s

cliffs; chapel; graveyard

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

The cliffs pictured are situated just to the north of Portree. The Beal, Bile or Biel, an area of pasture for grazing cattle, lies below Dun Torvaig and the crofting township of Torvaig. The grassy sloping field, hemmed in by steep cliffs behind and the sea in front, may have been the location of a cell or chapel of Talorgan, one of several solitary holy men drawn to these once remote areas in times gone by.<br /> <br /> An Ancient Church and Burying Ground, known as Bile Chapel, is marked on an Admiralty chart of 1847, and in 1914 the remains of a small church, with walling 2ft 9" thick and surrounded by a burial ground was described in the parish Statistical Account. Sadly, by the end of the century, a few scattered stones were all that indicated the location of a building over 26ft long and 13ft wide. The unfenced graveyard fell into disuse when the one in Portree was opened in the mid-18th century however a single gravestone remains intact at Bile. The stone marks the grave of Richard Williams, Captain's Coxswain on H.M.S. Porcupine, a naval survey vessel engaged in hydro-graphic surveys in north west Scotland as well as further afield. Williams apparently committed suicide in February 1861, and perhaps for this reason was buried outwith Portree graveyard