In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Shiant Isles like this:
Shiant Isles, a group of islets of basaltic character and picturesque appearance in the Outer Hebrides. It lies in the Minch, 4¼ miles SE of the nearest point of the coast of Lewis, and 21 S of Stornoway. It comprises a number of rocks or skerries, and the three islets of Garv-Eilan, Ellan-na-Kelly, and Ellan-Wirrey, all three of which are noticed separately. They all present a verdant surface, the hollows and declivities abounding in rich pasture; and they form a single sheep-farm, superintended by a single family, who reside on Ellan-na. ...
Kelly. This islet seems anciently to have been the seat of a monastery or a hermitage; and it still possesses some ruins which look to have been ecclesiastical. Its name means ` the island of the cell; ' and probably its reputed sanctity gave rise to the Gaelic designation of the group as Eilcanan Scunta or ` sacred islands.' The Shiant Isles are strikingly characterised by columnar masses similar to those of Staffa and the Giant's Causeway; and had they lain in a position more accessible to tourists or less remote from the tracks of steamboat navigation, they could scarcely have failed to acquire a fame as great as that of Staffa. Pop. (1871) 5, (1881) 6.Ord. Sur., sh. 99, 1858.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Shiant Isles has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Eilean Siar. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Shiant Isles and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Shiant Isles, in Eilean Siar and Ross and Cromarty | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd May 2013
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