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Updated 11/20/2019


Raasay House

Raasay (Scottish Gaelic: Ratharsair) is an island between the Isle of Skye and the mainland of Scotland. It is separated from Skye by the Sound of Raasay and from Applecross by the Inner Sound. It is most famous for being the birthplace of the poet Sorley MacLean, often seen as being part of the Scottish Renaissance."Raasay" means Isle of the Roe (or Red) Deer. It is sometimes written "Ratharsaigh" in Gaelic, but this is really a Gaelicization of the English; the proper Gaelic is "Ratharsair."

Raasay was ruled by the MacLeods from 1518; their initial stronghold being Brochel Castle. Although Protestant, they supported Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. After the defeat at Culloden, the original Raasay Houseand many dwellings were burnt down by government troops. In 1843 the last laird, John Macleod, was deep in debt and chose to immigrate to Australia. Subsequently the island was bought by private individuals for sporting purposes until acquired in 1912 by Baird & Co. who opened the mine. Since 1922 much of the island has been owned by the government. A multi-million-pound project to renovate and refurbish Raasay House commenced in 2009 and is open today as a “4 Star Guest Accommodation”.