Scalpay - A Little Bit of Information
In 1997 Mrs Kirsty Morrison, aged 103 and Scalpay's oldest resident made history by becoming the first person to cross the 300 metre Sound of Scalpay via land! Not that Mrs Morrison was made to walk, she was in the first car in a convoy of vehicles that crossed the new bridge. The bridge was officially opened by Prime Minister (at that time) Tony Blair.
Up to the opening of the bridge getting on and off Scalpay was via ferry which was fine so long as you didn't miss the last one, which sailed at 6:30 in the evening. Rather restrictive if you fancied a night out in Tarbert.
Bonnie Prince Charlie was no stranger to Scalpay, taking refuge here in 1746 whilst awaiting quick transport back to France. Apparently he was very nearly caught when Rev Aulay MacAulay and a MacLeod from Luskentyre went to Scalpay and their big dog nearly found 'the fugitive' (Bonnie Prince Charlie) but were prevented from doing so by Donald Campbell (Dòmhnall mac Iain Òig), who was armed with a sword. (Story about Mr Aulaidh)
The lighthouse on Scalpay was originally built in 1788, one of only four in Scotland, it is now an historic monument. A later tower was built and keepers houses were built in 1824-1826 by Robert Stevenson.
Today Scalpay is home to around 400 residents,it still thrives on fishing and now thanks to the bridge, tourists can come to stay and enjoy the peace and tranquility that this Hebridean gem has to offer and they need not worry about the last ferry.
Further information and photos of Scalpay:
General stores open 9am – 6pm Monday to Saturday, plus 8pm – 10pm on Saturdays only.
Cafe is open from 10am – 4.30pm Monday to Saturday.
Tel: 01859 540218
Who could also provide you with Free-range eggs, lobsters and brown crab. E-mail them through their "Contacts" page for details.
Photographer John Walsh
Breathtaking images of Scalpay and the Isle of Harris. Prints and Calendar available from his website.
Virtual Hebrides (photo on left) lots of information on Lewis, Harris and Scalpay