Map with: Google Map, or OS Explorer Map from Streetmap.co.uk

Other Sites Within 500m

* Cave (Alt Cailleachan Chriosda)  Calman (Uamh nan) [Rudha Ruath]  Alt a' Ghamhna (Uamh)  Sgeirean Rubha Ruaidh  Sluichd (Uamh an t-)  * Caves (Rudha Ruadh)  Mhic-a-mhaoir (Uamhanan)  Shlugaidhe Ghlaisse (Uamh)  Shlugaidhe Ghlaisse (cave) [1]  Rubha Ruadh (1)  Rubha Ruadh (2)  Shlugaidhe Ghlaisse (cave) [2] 

 Go to the Main Scottish Cave and Mine Database Search Page

Alt Cailleachan Chriosda (Uamh)

Islay, The Oa, Alt Cailleachan Chriosda, Argyllshire.

NGR:NR 28200 46210
WGS84:55.63323, -6.32014
Length:Not recorded
Vert. Range:Not recorded
Altitude:Not recorded
Geology:Maol An Fhithich Quartzite Formation - Quartzite, Semipelite And Pelite
Tags:Cave, SeaCave, Archaeo
Registry:main

Raised beach sea cave, shovel pitted.

Alternate Names: Cliff of the Old Women of Christ (Cave of the), Cliff of the Veiled Ones of Christ (Cave of the), Nun's Cliff (Cave)

Notes: Cailleach ("old woman" or "hag" in modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic) comes from the Old Gaelic Caillech ("veiled one"), an adjectival form of caille ("veil"), an early loan from Latin pallium, "woolen cloak".

The Cailleach is often referred to as the Cailleach Bhéara(ch), Cailleach Bheur(ach), or variations thereof. Gearóid Ó Crualaoich attributes twin meanings to the name; the legendary context of cow goddess, or association with horned beasts, and a folklore attribution as a word meaning "sharp, shrill, inimical" - bior(ach) or beur(ach) - and refers to the Cailleach's association with winter and wilderness.

In this case however the site appears to be associated with a nearby nunnery or convent. In both Upper and Lower Glencastle there appears the name 'Luib na Caillich' (at NR 301 449 and NR 288 457) which here means "the fold of the nun", for about 1/4 mile of N of Glencastle, there is 'Allt Cailleachan Chriosda: the gully of the veiled ones of Christ' (name: NR 280 462). These names indicate the existence of a covent in Glencastle though there is no historical or traditional record of one.

Links and Resources:

This entry was last updated: 2020-10-19 20:35:56

Errors or omissions in this information? Submit corrections/additions/comments for this entry to the registrars.

All database content Copyright 2022 Grampian Speleological Group.
Web Registry software by Matt Voysey.