Carnaichean Tealasdale

From a piece by Dave Roberts for Uig News.

At the north end of Mealisval there is a valley called Tealasdale. The floor of the valley is a chaos of enormous boulders. Beneath some of the gigantic rocks are crevices and hollows into which a person could crawl. Blocking the gaps and holes around some of the boulders are small stone and turf walls, which have been built to create cosy, if cramped, sleeping places, free of draughts. There are at least six of these ‘caves’ in the area known as Carnaichean Tealasdale. Locally it is suggested that these caves were built by Mac an t-Sronaich as a hideaway. However before his time, there was the story of the Cailleach of Mealisval who could easily have constructed the walls.

It is certainly a good place to hide and having a number of different bolt holes would have been invaluable to a fugitive. Equally it is possible that shepherds built them as shelters, in case they were caught out by bad weather. However it is unlikely is that they were ever used as sheilings because there is little pasturage about, and the ground is a minefield of hidden holes just waiting to break the leg of any unwary person or beast. This is not to say that caves were generally avoided as sheilings, because not far away is a boulder cave called Uamha Mhic Sheothail and it was used for this purpose.