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Friday, October 14, 2011
LMS Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Knoydart
Ok so it was just me and my 8-year old daughter while on holiday... but it was a real pilgrimage, it is about an hour's walk from the nearest bit of road, even at low tide. When the tide is low you risk your neck scrambling over the rocks; when the tide is high it is a much longer scramble over bog and hill. There was no way we could take my younger children.
This very striking statue of Our Lady welcomes the boats into Loch Nevis, a sea loch near Mallaig in the West Highlands of Scotland. Going by boat by this route is the main, for most people the only, way to the Knoydart penninsula, and the statue was erected when the penninsula was owned by the Catholic MP, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, at the instigation of his wife (as this web page suggests). He owned the place from 1952 to 1972, and is buried there. The statue dates from the earlier part of his period of ownership, I don't know the exact date. I was pleased to see signs of recent maintenance on the plinth, no doubt carried out by the current owners, the Knoydart Foundation. The statue has become an important landmark.
The day was glorious and the views from the the statue's headland were breathtaking. This is looking into Loch Nevis.
Every inch of the West Highlands has a story to tell about Bonnie Prince Charlie, and as he hid out here for quite a while after his defeat at Culloden, before escaping to France, this is not surprising. This island, not far from Our Lady's statue, is said to have been a place where he stayed the night.
There are a few more photos here.