Skye

Skye (skĪ) [key], island (1991 pop. 8,868), 670 sq mi (1,735 sq km), largest and most northerly island of the Inner Hebrides, Highland, NW Scotland. It has an irregular coastline, and many of its lochs are rimmed by lofty, sheer precipices. The Cuillin Hills rise to more than 3,000 ft (910 m). Only a small part of the island is arable. Sheep and cattle raising, wool weaving, whisky distilling, and fishing are the chief industries. Diatomite is mined in the northeastern region. The climate is mild, and Skye is a resort despite its heavy rainfall; a bridge connecting the island to the mainland opened in 1995. Portree, on the east coast, is the leading town. At Dunvegan, on the west coast, is the castle of the Macleod clan. At the north end of the island are the ruins of Duntulm Castle, belonging to the rival clan, the Macdonalds. Gaelic is spoken. Skye has many associations with Prince Charles Edward Stuart, who took refuge there after his defeat at Culloden Moor in 1746. Flora Macdonald, who aided Charles's escape, is buried in Kilmuir, near Dunvegan.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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