Home eBooks Index eBooks by Author Glossary Search eBooks

A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland

The following is from A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland by Martin Martin:

The Island of Ailsa Craig

IS a big rock, about six leagues to the south-west of Arran; it rises in form of a sugar-loaf, but the top is plain, and large enough for drawing up a thousand men in ranks; there is a fresh-water lake in the middle of the plain, the whole isle is covered with long grass, and is inaccessible, except on the south-west side, by a stair cut out in the rock; in the middle of it there is a small tower of three stories high with the top. There is a fresh water spring issuing out of the side of this great rock; below the entry there is a place where the fishers take up their residence during their stay about this rock in quest of cod and ling; and there is a good anchorage for their vessels very near their tents.

This rock in the summer-time abounds with variety of sea-fowl, that build and hatch in it. The solan geese and coulterneb are most numerous here; the latter are by the fishers called albanich, which in the ancient Irish language signifies Scotsmen.

The isle has a chapel on the top called Fiunnay, and an ancient pavement or causeway.

Ailsa is the Earl of Cassillis’ property, the tenant who farms it pays him one hundred marks Scots yearly; the product of the isle is hogs, fowl, down, and fish. The isle Avon, above a mile in circumference, lies to the south of Kintyre Mull; it hath a harbour for barques on the north.

The Island of Gigha


Copyright © Scotland from the Roadside 2019