The Gaelic language is a window into an ancient culture, alive with magic and myth. At the heart of this mythology are the fair folk, the little people, the faeries or sithean (pronounced “shee”). Strontian itself comes from "Sron an t-Sitheinn", the nose or point of the fairies. All over the Highlands you will see other references; above the village itself is the small conical summit of Tom an t-Sithein, the fairy hill.
But the fairies who inhabit this culture aren't made in the image of the Victorian ideal - dainty, winged Tinkerbells playing among the flowers of a cottage garden. On the contrary, they are portents of evil, harbingers of doom. The banshee, that awful hag whose howl presages death, carries a Gaelic name: "Ban sithean" means simply Woman of the Fairies. These creatures were feared; the labels given by the Gaels and Irish so many years ago which became the little people, or the fair folk, carries no sense of irony or humour. Rather than name them at all, these titles truly are euphemisms, perhaps with the hope that to describe them as peaceful might somehow encourage them to act as such.
And that brings us through the darkness of mythology to emerge blinking into the light of present day Gaelic, for by describing the fairies as peaceful has given us "sith" as meaning both fairy and peace, quietness, tranquillity. Craig na Shee, while no doubt meaning the Rock of the Fairies, also means Rock of Peace, which is how we truly see our little home.
Craig na Shee - The Rock of Peace
Craig na Shee was built about 35 years ago, and was run as a Bed & Breakfast by two separate owners. We (Richard & Jacqueline) had been looking for somewhere to live on the peninsula having fallen in love with the area many years ago, so we grabbed the opportunity with both hands when we found this delightful house.
After a year refurbishing the place, we opened the doors to Bed & Breakfast guests in 2008, and grew the business - and met some wonderful people - over the years. In 2015 we inherited a small log cabin, also in Strontian. The cabin needed a lot of work, but we have now moved into it, and this means that Craig na Shee is available for other people to enjoy.