The souterrain in Kilkenneth in 1918

Photograph of John MacIntyre and his son Colin at the opened souterrain in Kilkenneth in 1918.


Courtesy of Mr Colin MacKinnon

John MacIntyre (Iain Chailein Mhurchaidh) and his son, Colin, are pictured here at the souterrain in Kilkenneth opened by chance when ploughing in 1918. It was later covered over.

Less than a mile away, a Y-shaped passage was exposed in the 1890s in the sand dunes at Tràigh Ghrianail. Measuring 9.2 metres long, 1 metre wide and 1.5 metres high, it was known locally as An Taigh Falaichte (the hidden house) and used for shelter by those working on the shore. It has since disappeared.

Similar underground structures were built on the mainland around 200 AD. They may have been used as byres or stores, or as places to hide from raiders.

Black and white photograph of John MacIntyre at the souterrain in Kilkenneth around 1920.

John MacIntyre at the rear of the horse and his son Colin at the opened souterrain in Kilkenneth around 1920.

Object Details

Other Number: K89

A souterrain at Kilkenneth around 1918

The souterrain was discovered by John MacIntyre when his plough hit a rock in 1918. When he lifted the rock he found an underground passage. It has since been covered over. There are three known souterrains on Tiree, which are thought to have been built around 200AD as stores or refuges.

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