In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Scarba like this:
Scarba, an island in the Hebridean parish of Jura and Colonsay, Argyllshire. It lies 1½ mile -N of the island of Jura, and 3½ miles WNW of Craignish Point on the mainland. Its length is 3½ miles, and its greatest breadth is 2¾; but its mean breadth is much less. Most of it consists of a single mountain of an oblong conoidal form, which towers aloft to a height of 1500 feet, and is conspicuous at a distance as much for its outline as for its altitude. ...
The shores on the S, the W, and the N are generally high, rocky, and precipitous; and, in some places, they consist of a perpendicular face or sheer fall of several hundred feet of the mountain. All these shores and the high grounds, wherever not quite naked, are for the most part covered with heath. But the E side of the island is eminently beautiful: it recedes in a semicircular curvature from the sea, so as to enclose a fine bay in a magnificent amphitheatre; it arises up along the seaboard with a uniform and quite practicable acclivity; it has a subsidiary and comparatively low ridge of rising ground along the skirt of the interior mountain; it is sheeted over with verdure and with natural woods, occasionally interrupted by projecting rocks; and in all the magnificent sweep of its recess from the bay, it commands a view of the variegated and intricate channel of the Slate islands, with the sound of Oban, and the distant ranges of mountains that extend from Ben Cruachan to Ben Nevis. Quartz rock, dipping towards the E in angles of 40 or 50 degrees, forms the principal body of the mountain; but it alternates with and passes into micaceous schist; and both it and the varieties which the intermixture with it of the micaceous schist produces, alternate with clay-slate. The island belongs to F. Gascoigne, Esq. of Craignish, and is under deer. Scarba (Norse Skarpey) is the Engaricenna of Ptolemy, and one of his five Ebudæ Pop. (1861) 13, (1871) 7, (1881) 19.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Scarba in Argyll and Bute | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th April 2017
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