Location: Fort William and the Great Glen
vikings, the jacobites, gaelic language and placenames, hiding places

Somerled's Cave (Uamh Shomhairle)

According to history and legend, there is a cave near Loch Linnhe which is famous for having offered sanctuary to many who needed to hide. Uamh Shomhairle or Somerled's Cave is named after Somerled, the renowned leader and warrior who drove the Norse out and united most of the west of Scotland under his rule.

In the early 1120s, he is said to have been hiding in that cave after losing his campaign to regain Ardnamurchan and Morvern. Several centuries later, it may have hidden the young heir to the Camerons of Glen Nevis after a bloody attack on Clan Cameron by Clan Chattan. Then, after the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden in 1746, the cave was where the wife of Cameron of Glen sought refuge with her infant son for several days while Hanoverian troops raided their house.

They were discovered and the infant was accidentally wounded when the soldiers cut her plaid open with a sword, though both mother and son survived to return to their ruined home. But an ancient legend with its roots in Gaelic mythology would appear to predate all these stories: it makes the cave the final home of the FĂ©inne, the Scottish version of the Fianna and recounts that giants are sleeping there, waiting to be awakened by the sound of three blows from a horn.

More information on visiting the area can be found here.