The Hermit’s Cell is found South West of Dun I and is said to be the place where Columba came to pray although there is no direct evidence of this. Located in a sheltered hollow, in Gaelic called ‘Cobhan Cuilteach’, it is an oval shaped stone foundation that most likely supported a structure of timber and turf .
Begin at the entrance to the MacLeod Centre opposite the Abbey. There are no marked routes to get here but if you look out for well-worn paths and have a map then you may avoid the diversions of the fairy folk! It is indeed a peaceful and solitary place to spend a relaxing afternoon. The monastic life encouraged solitary reflection away from the distractions of everyday life and this would have been a perfect spot. To sit inside the ring of stones offers shelter from the wind and a lovely panorama to the sea and Tiree in the west.
To the north of the cell, up the slope around a bluff of stone inside the remains of animal enclosures, is found the location of ‘Tobar na Gaoithe Tuath’, the ancient ‘Well of the North Wind’. The well disappeared sometime in the 19th Century. Folklore says that sailors would come here to call up the blessings of the north wind. There was once also a Well of the South Wind which has similarly disappeared. In a time when water was the means of travel any prayers for safe travel would be much needed.