Scorrybreac House in Poetry


It is hard to relate these sad ruins to the “great house of MacNicol up yonder” as it was commemorated in Gaelic song for many hundreds of years.  A traditional song commemorates the marriage of the then Chief Malcolm Nicolson to Margaret, the sister of Iain Garbh Mac Ghille Chaluim, the Chief of the MacLeods in Raasay, the island across the water from these lands of Scorrybreac:

To Scorrybreac where the festivity is wont to be
To the wide hall of the family of Donald
Where wine is got to drink
From brown goblets of ornamented rim
Trenchers and plates of pewter
And a vat for brewing barley…

In the great spacious house of swept floor
An apple would roll up and down it
And one would get that in the house of my loved one
Pig being scraped and cattle being flayed
And gold candlestick on white tables…