The Farm

The FarmHouse and the Barn at Old Kyle Farm were build sometime in the mid-late 19th Century.

They first show up in the Ordnance Survey's 1892 map of Kyleakin, when the rest of the village was already pretty recognisable.

Once a very large sheep farm, the grazing land covered 2000 acres all the way to Kylerhea at one extent, and Lusa (near the airfield) in the other.

The Cottage was originally the Village Reading Room and was purchased and moved to the farm in the 1930s

Kyleakin Village

The area including Castle Maol has been inhabited since the time of the Vikings, if not before.

More information about the village can be found by checking out Kyleakin Historic Society

Richard Perry, an overlooked author?

With such a famous "neighbour", Gavin Maxwell, a prominent part of Kyleakin history, it is understandable that another naturalist author who lived in and wrote about the area might be neglected.

Maxwell moved to Eilean Ban from Sandaig near Glenelg in 1968, shortly before his death in 1969.

Perry visited and lived at Old Kyle Farm much earlier, in the late 1930s and worked as a shepherd back when Old Kyle Farm covered 2000 acres of hillside.

He was a keen ornithologist, but equally astute commentator on all life around him, including human.

...I had pictured the day when Mildred and I would look across the kyle, and I would point out to her the white farm, high up above the township, at the gateway to the brown moors and hills of Skye, where I had first gone a'shepherding...

I went a'Shepherding

Chapters in the Life of a Shepherding Naturalist and His Wife in the Western Highlands and Islands

Published in 1944, by Lindsay Drummond Ltd, by which time Perry had moved to Holy Island.

The book documents Perry's time at Old Kyle Farm, living with his wife in "The Old Dancehouse" which is now the Cottage.

Stories of the challenges of farm life and wider island life are interdispersed with details about the natural setting. Although wrapped up in all of its physicality, Perry is critical of the sustainability of sheep farming in the Western Isles.

The book also includes many of the author's own photos of the area, including the Cottage, the Farm, Loch-na-Beiste

A copy of the book is available to read in the Cottage and the Farmhouse.

You can find copies on Abebooks

Bibliography

1938At the Turn Of the Tide
1940Lundy Isle Of Puffins
1944I Went A'shepherding
1946A Naturalist On Lindisfarne
1948In the High Grampians
1948Shetland Sanctuary
1952The Watcher and The Red Deer
1964World Of the Tiger
1966World Of the Polar Bear
1968The World Of the Walrus
1969The World Of the Giant Panda
1970The World Of the Jaguar
1970Bears - the World Of Animals Series
1972The Unknown Ocean
1973The Polar Worlds
1974Life At the Sea's Frontiers
1975Watching Sea Birds
1976Life In Forest and Jungle
1977Life In Desert and Plain
1978Wildlife In Britain and Ireland
1979Highland Wildlife
1980Collins Gem - Birds
1981Mountain Wildlife

Books available on Amazon