Thank you for joining us in our mission to discover and document the history of Rubha Phoil.
When I, Ludwig, took over ownership of Rubha Phoil, now four years ago, I started to work on a permaculture design immediately. The first part of a good permaculture design is the observation phase, where we gather all the facts that will have an influence on the design and the process. There is little benefit in doing much else in the design process until this phase is complete. Part of that observation process is documenting the history. History can have a big impact on a design. How the land was used and treated, the existing historical and recent connections -or lack thereof- with the local community, the existing reputation, existing agreements and such are all factors that have a big influence on the design.
Not only recent findings, also older history has a rich contribution to make to a design. How did people long ago survive? Where did they seek shelter? Where did they hunt? Sometimes they reveal hidden resources – trees planted by a boatbuilder many hundreds of years ago may not just be a tree, they are a boat waiting to be born. Sometimes the story is in the local Gaelic language. Ardvasar or Àird a’ Bhàsair in Gaelic means “Headland of the executioner.”
It is quite a task to fact check and add all what we already have to the database. The old rock has so many stories waiting to be told! We will keep adding more in batches as we find time to do so.
We’re going to document the history with the help of scientists and historians and like real permaculture people do: factually, relevantly, sensitively and objectively. And chronologically of course.
We are looking for an experienced Geologist willing to help us with the geological history, for the first part of the time line. Can you help us? Please get in touch! We have some funds available for your time.
Next, we’ll go for the first part of human history starting right after the ice ages were ending, around 14-12.000 years ago. As the glaciers that were covering Scotland were melting, life started thriving quickly, in the freshly melted, mineral rich waters. There is a lot of evidence available in our local area that as one would suspect, humans followed too. We haven’t found any evidence on the Rock itself of any early habitation, but we can only assume that they loved the rock as much as we do for the same reasons: the abundance of opportunities for life. There is no doubt that the ecosystem around Rubha Phoil was teaming with life. Diversity on the land and in the shallow waters around the rock and in the sea must have been unimaginable lush. Such an abundance of edges on so much coast line, is an invitation for life to flourish. Humans would take advantage of that too, obviously! Therefore, we’ll include some information about local history into our timeline below too. If you know of any interesting local facts, please do get in touch.
The 3rd part will be about the more recent human habitation of the rock, after the land was sold by Lord MacDonald in 1984. If you have been on the Rock as a visitor, volunteer, resident or supporter, we’d love to document your experience or have a copy of your pictures or video. Please go here. We have a few questions for you on the time line too. Please contact us if you can help us find the answers!
I hope that you will enjoy discovering what Rubha Phoil was for people in the very far and also in the recent past, and help us dream of a future for the rock too.
If you have anything, anything at all to add to the timeline below, please do get in touch on the contact tab on the top.
If you want to help even more and join us in our discovery journey, if you like doing research, interview people, dig in dusty archives, sort through thousands of pictures and hundreds of hours of video footage, gather stories, write, make video’s and such like, please do join the virtual village.
We’ll be adding things to the time line below on a regular basis. Please visit again soon, or subscribe to our email list to hear about important updates.