Shiant Isles  Ross and Cromarty


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.

Shiant Isles through time

Shiant Isles is now part of Eilean Siar district. Click here for graphs and data of how Eilean Siar has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Shiant Isles itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

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: 28th January 2022

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