George Rainey, a wealthy London merchant, bought Raasay House from former Chief John MacLeod, who was forced into bankruptcy. The wall Rainey subsequently forced his tenants to build bisected the island. The fertile land to the south Rainey used for his own personal hunting ground. The islanders were forced onto a narrow strip of land to the north, with poor soil unsuitable for tillage or grazing. They were forbidden from marriage, punished for stealing even the smallest hare that found its way over onto their side of the wall. When my kinsman Calum MacLeod built the two mile stretch of road joining the north to the south (see previous post), he smashed through Rainey’s wall, using the broken pieces for his road, which he built singlehandedly using only a pickaxe and a wheelbarrow, dying shortly after completing it. I keep this piece in my garden.