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Gaelic: Stafain
Staffin, Isle of Skye, Scotland - Diliff.jpg
Staffin at dusk viewed from the Quiraing ridge
Grid reference: NG483684
Location: 57°37’55"N, 6°13’7"W
Post town: Portree
Postcode: IV51
Local Government
Council: Highland
Dinosaur footprint on beach in Staffin

Staffin is a district on the north-east coast of the Trotternish peninsula of the isle of Skye, Inverness-shire. Its name is from the Gaelic An Taobh Sear, which translates as 'the East Side'. It is located on the A855 road about 17 miles north of Portree and is overlooked by the Trotternish Ridge with the famous rock formations of The Storr and the Quirang. The district comprises 23 townships made up of, from south to north, Rigg, Tote, Lealt, Lonfearn, Grealin, Breackry, Cul-nan-cnoc, Bhaltos, Raiseburgh, Ellishader, Garafad, Clachan, Garros, Marrishader, Maligar, Stenscholl, Brogaig, Sartle, Glasphein, Digg, Dunan, Flodigarry and Greap. The Kilmartin River runs northwards through the village. From where it reaches the sea a rocky shore leads east to a slipway at An Corran. Here a local resident found a slab bearing a dinosaur track, probably made by a small ornithopod. Experts subsequently found more dinosaur prints of up to 20 inches, the largest found in Scotland, made by a creature similar to Megalosaurus. At about 160 million years old they are the youngest dinosaur remains to be found in Scotland.[1][2]

A Mesolithic hunter-gatherer site dating to the 7th millennium BC at An Corran is one of the oldest archaeological sites in Scotland. Its occupation is probably linked to that of the rock shelter at Sand on the mainland Ross-shire coast.[3]

In the modern era this part of Skye retains a strong Gaelic identity with 61 per cent of the local population recorded as speaking the language in 2001.[4] In September 2010, Comunn na Gàidhlig named Staffin as their "Gaelic Community of the Year", in the first year this competition has run.[5]

In 2011 it was reported that Staffin Island may be the last in Scotland where the old tradition of having cattle swim between grazings is still carried out. Crofter Iain MacDonald, who used to swim with the animals, now uses a boat to encourage them to swim from Staffin Island to Skye in early spring and back again in October.[6]


("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Staffin)
  1. "Jurassic dinosaur footprints at An Corran". Scottish Geology. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  2. Clark, Neil. "Dinosaurs in Trotternish". Staffin Community Trust. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  3. "An Corran" Staffin Community Trust (Urras an Taobh Sear) Retrieved 15 March 2008.
  4. Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2004) 1901-2001 Gaelic in the Census (PowerPoint) Linguae Celticae. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
  5. Staffin named as "Gaelic Community of the Year", Comunn na Gàidhlig
  6. "Skye crofter 'last' to swim his cattle between grazings" (11 February 2011) BBC News. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
Staffin and Staffin Bay