As soon as the crofts were prepared for planting, cattle and other livestock were banished to the moors, but this created another problem - milking cows when they were grazing miles away, and feeding hens and collecting the eggs. Thus the shieling.
Sheilings were small huts, made of stone or sod, with just enough room to sleep and to store milk while the cream rose to the surface, and then to prepare the cream and skimmed milk for butter, cheese, crowdie or whatever. Some shieling maids brought along their spinning wheels, and always their knitting needles.
Once a week or so, the dairy products would be transported to the croft, and the shieling would be prepared for another week of work - and play.
One would be inclined to think that with all the village girls away 'on the shieling', it would be a pretty boring time for the young men, but the ever-resourceful mother nature, as usual, came to the rescue.
The shielings became the center of youthful summer activity and this social phenomenon no longer seems so strange. Occupants of shielings for miles around often got together with the young men of the villages for dancing, ceilidhs, and whatever else.
The Sheiling Venue
Suitable places for performance, entertainment, activities, conferences or meetings around Skye are in short supply and/or expensive.
The Sheiling provides a range of low cost venue options suitable for groups of up to 100 people, with or without catering.