On some tours when you sail with Jacobite, as we set off from our mooring, you can take a look at Tomnahurich Hill behind us. Translated from Gaelic, Tomnahurich Hill means ‘Hill of the Yew Trees’. Since 1863 and until recently, it has been the main cemetery for Inverness. The hill is steeped in mystery and romance and is said to be inhabited by fairy people. There are a number of stories about the hill that we like to share, here’s just one of them…
Many moons ago, two travelling fiddlers met a strangely dressed old man who proceeded to ask them if they would play for him. The fiddlers readily agreed as they needed money to pay for somewhere to stay later that night. The old man led them towards Tomnahurich Hill and just before the setting sun disappeared from view they passed through an opening at the foot of the hill into a beautifully decorated cavern hung with rich tapestries and lit by countless candles and lamps.
There was a great feast going on and the guests were, like the old man, dressed in clothes the fiddlers had never seen before. Each suit and dress was finer than the one next to it. The fiddlers were duly fed and watered with some of the most sumptuous food and wine that had ever crossed their lips. Following this delightful meal the dancing started and the fiddlers began playing. Each felt that he was playing as never before and the notes coming from the fiddles seemed to emanate from somewhere not of this earth.
Finally, in the wee small hours of the morning, the dancing and merrymaking came to an end and the fiddlers were thanked, handed bags of gold and silver by the old man, led out of the hill and put on the road back to Inverness. However things were not as they should have been. Houses had appeared where the day before there had only been trees. People they met on the way to Inverness made fun of their old fashioned and ragged clothes.
The fiddlers realised that they had been enchanted and that years must have passed since they had entered the hill. In dreadful fear, they rushed into the local church where the morning service was underway. As soon as the minister started to preach, the two fiddlers and the gold and silver crumbled into dust in front of the terrified congregation. It is said that the fiddlers had been away for over a hundred years.
We look forward to sharing more stories with you when you sail with us. www.jacobite.co.uk