Location: Uists and Benbecula
gaelic language and placenames, gaelic culture, hiding places

Stac Dhòmhnuill Chaim

Stac Dhòmhnaill Chaim (the stack of One-eyed Donald) near the village of Mangersta is a dramatically shaped stack, fifty meters high, but only 20 meters in diameter on top.

It was once the hideout and fortress of the 17th century chief of the Lewis MacAulays, outlaw and warrior hero Dòmhnall Cam MacAulay. The stack is joined to the mainland by a narrow spine of rock sixty meters long which was once just passable: tradition tells Donald’s daughter Anna Mhòr (Big Anna) used to bring her father milk and water carried on her head as she needed her hands to negotiate the treacherous crossing.

Well documented as a promomtary fort in 1890 by historian Captain F.W.L Thomas as ‘quite inaccessible, except on the land side, where a narrow path leads up the steep brae’, [defended on the land side by a 4 to 5 feet thick wall and sporting the ruins of a cottage and of a sheep-pen attached to it], the now scheduled site is badly threatened by sea erosion. The narrow path across the isthmus has all but gone, but the buildings thought to be the remains of Donald Cam’s refuge can be seen clearly from the adjacent cliffs. The precipitous stack may have had a longer history of occupation dating back to prehistoric times. More information on visiting the area can be found here.