Past & Present

The Folktale

The story behind the creation of three of the standing stones of south-west Harris:

Long ago, before the time of history, there was an old woman – a witch – living on the west side of Harris. She was very fond of limpets and used a large stone hammer – an òrd bhàrnaich - to dislodge them from their rocks. Wandering the shore around Aird Nisabost she came upon a particularly large limpet. Her normal blows would not dislodge it, so she gathered all her strength and gave it such a blow that it flew off the rock into the sea. The blow broke the hammer into three, the smaller parts flying across the sea; one to land on Tarasaigh, the other at Steinigidh. The largest landed on the hill behind her and is still known locally as An Ord Bhàirnich, The Limpet Hammer, otherwise known as Clach Mhic Leòid,

By Jill Harden

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