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Port Domhnaill Cruinn [4]  Aonan an Eorna [5]  Aonan an Eorna [6]  Aonan an Eorna [7]  Aonan an Eorna [3]  Aonan an Eorna [4]  Aonan an Eorna [2]  Aonan an Eorna [1]  Port Domhnaill Cruinn [3]  Port Domhnaill Cruinn [2]  Aonan an Eorna [9]  Steallaire Mor  Aonan an Eorna [8]  Allt na Caillich Natural Arch (S) [Islay]  Port Domhnaill Cruinn [1]  Allt na Caillich [1] [Islay]  Allt na Caillich Natural Arch (N) [Islay]  Donna (Uamhan) [1] 

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Domhnaill Chruinn (Uamh)

Islay, Port Domhnaill Chruinn, Glean nan Uamh Donna, Argyllshire.

NGR:NR 36865 76912
WGS84:55.91312, -6.21251
Length:Not recorded
Vert. Range:Not recorded
Altitude:Not recorded
Geology:Not recorded
Tags:Cave, SeaCave

A sea cave or raised beach sea cave.

Some dispute as to the actual location. OS appear to mark the cave on the promontory between Port Domhnaill Chruinn and Aonan an Eorna (NE of Port Domhnaill Chruinn). West of Scotland Archaeology Service (whose coordinates may be a little vague) places it on the foreshore of the Port. Pastmap uses OS background mapping so agrees with OS. OS Maps; Greenspace equally vague. Scotland's Places taken from the OS Name Book gives the best description but no accurate coordinates (but does place the cave between Port Domhnaill Chruinn and Aonan an Eorna). Coordinates marked are closest to a large inlet in the cliffs close to the OS name which seems the most likely position.

Aerial photographs suggest a large entrance from the sea with several side passages open to the sky between 20 m high cliffs going back 20 - 30 m. Access difficult but may be possible along the rocky shore at low tide 50 - 60 m from Aonan an Eorna.

A second possible location is a smaller inlet 30 -40 m round the rocky shore from Port Domhnaill Chruinn.

Alternate Names: Domhnuill Chruinn (Uamh)

Notes: See also Allt nan Uamh Donna and Un-named Cave [0045].

A literal translation of Domhnaill Chruinn is 'Round Donald'. Given both the Port (landing site) and the Cave are named Domhnaill Chruinn, it might possibly be assumed the signifier 'Round' applies to Donald not to either the Cave or the Port. But then who was Round Donald? More likely this is a reference to Clan Donald. Then Port Domhnaill Chruinn becomes the Round Port (or landing site) of either Clan Donald or more particularly Donald of Islay, Lord of the Isles.

Donald of Islay (d. 1423) was the son of John of Islay, Lord of the Isles and chief of Clan Donald (also the grandson of King Robert II of Scotland). Although he ruled Islay, as well as Morvern, Garmoran, Lochaber, Kintyre and Knapdale as a semi-autonomous lordship as yet no particular link to this cave has been found.

Uamh Domhnaill Chruinn should therefore 'possibly' be the Cave of the Round Port of Clan Donald (Uamh Port Domhnaill Chruinn) - the word Port may have been either lost or deliberately removed to shorten the name.

Or perhaps there was a Round Donald.

Jane Bell (nee McCuaig) wrote to her sister in 1943 about her grandmother's birthplace at Upper Glencastle "My brother John McCuaig, Cragabus, Oa, Portellen would be a good man to refer Donald to, to get the particulars of his grand mothers birth place at Upper Glencastle, in the Oa district. Our outlying pasture adjoins the Glencastle pastures, where "Domhull Cruinn" Round Donald herded your grandfather's cattle before they all left for Canada. Your father's people the Bells of Eskinish lived on the other side of the Island. I think the village of Bridge-End is not very [far] from Eskinsh. If your nephew could get in touch with John Campbell, Bowmore, he could give all the particulars about the Bells John's wife was Jennie (?) Bell, and I am sure she was a close relation".

Glencastle in the Mull of Oa is at the opposite end of Islay from Port Dhomhnuill Chruinn and the dating of the above letter suggests this Round Donald would have lived in the mid to late 19th century. It is unlikely but not impossible that he himself inspired the cave name which was recorded as early as 1853.

Port Dhomhnuill Chruinn -A small bay and landing place for boats situate a short distance S.W. [South West] of Uamh Dhomhnuill Chruinn and about 1/4 of a mile N.E. [North East] of Uamhannan Donna. Sig: - "Round Donald's port" [Scotland's Places]

Uamh Dhomhnuill Chruinn - Applies to a cave situate a short distance S.W. [South West] of Aonan an Eòrna and N.E. [North East] of Port Dhomhnuill Chruinn. On the property of Charles Morrison Esqr. of Islay house Sig: [Signification] "Round Donald's cave". [Scotland's Places]

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This entry was last updated: 2020-09-09 13:21:09

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