Roisinis Deserted Village, Eriskay
The Highlands of Scotland are dotted with abandoned settlements. Some hark back to the dreadful days of the Clearances, when crofters were evicted from lands their families had farmed for centuries, to make way for sheep. But not all deserted villages were abandoned by force; some were simply the result of changing circumstances and settlement patterns. That is the case with the township of Roisinis (Rossinish) on the northeast corner of Eriskay. The site was not completely abandoned until 1957.
There is a wonderful range of traditional dwellings at Roisinis from blackhouses, white houses, and more relatively modern concrete houses. What makes Roisinis so appealing is the setting, with marvellous views to South Uist. As beautiful as the setting is, however, it is hard to stand amidst the abandoned dwellings and not feel a tinge of melancholy. Where people once lived, now sheep wander, grazing inside the old ruined cottages.
Access to Roisinis is quite easy. Take the road east along the northern shore of Eriskay until it ends. From the road end, take the farm track through a gate and along the coast eastwards. After about 500 metres the first ruined buildings of Rossinish will come into view.
NB. Roisinis (Eriskay) should not be confused with Roisinis on Benbecula, where Bonnie Prince Charlie made good his escape to Skye. See our account of a very nice walk following in the Prince's footsteps to Rueval and the coast at Roisinis.
Link to Streetmap.co.uk map of Roisinis, Eriskay >>