A rich and heady brew of the blood of Norsemen and Celts runs through the veins of bearers of the proud name of MacLeod today.
They are believed to descend from the thirteenth century Leod, son of Olaf, King of Man and the Northern Islands, and it was he who greatly expanded their territory from their original power base in the Shetlands.
At the height of their fortunes the clan came to control vast swathes of territories that included Skye, Raasay, Harris, Lewis and Assynt, while the imposing Dunvegan Castle on Skye was their main stronghold.
Two separate branches of the clan emerged, the MacLeods of Lewis and Assynt and the MacLeods of Harris, Glen Elg and Dunvegan, but both were united under the motto of ‘Hold Fast.’
This motto was particularly apt, as they battled for centuries to retain their power and influence.