It is said that for many years after the battle the bones of the dead MacDonalds could be seen sticking out from the toppled dyke, a gruesome reminder of an awful event.
It’s hard to imagine standing here today that a peaceful congregation gathered together in a church, a place of sanctuary, supposedly, and every man, woman and child being slaughtered. It's even harder to imagine when you stand here listening to the wind and a few distant seabirds that this slaughter actually happened. Now we have to ask ourselves, did the MacDonalds just go about setting fire to churches full of MacLeods?
Or was there more to this story? For a number of years there had been continuous feuding between Clan MacDonald and Clan MacLeod.
During the winter of 1577, this feud came to a terrible climax on the Isle of Eigg. The tradition runs that a small party of MacLeods had landed on that island, whereupon some of the MacLeods staying on the island became too amorous with the local maidens. They were seized, bound hand and foot, and set adrift in their own boat, but managed, to reach Dunvegan. Forthwith, to avenge them, the MacLeod Chief sailed for Eigg. Seeing his overwhelming force the inhabitants of the island, some three hundred and ninety five in number, took shelter in a great cave called St. Francis, also known as the Massacre Cave, which had a single narrow entrance. Their plan seemed successful.