Eilean Shona

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Eilean Shona
Eilean Shona is located in Lochaber
Eilean Shona
Eilean Shona
Eilean Shona shown within Highland Scotland
OS grid reference NM645739
Gaelic name Eilean Seòna[1]
Pronunciation [ˈelan ə ˈɲeː] ( )
Meaning of name Possibly from the Norse for 'sea island'
Area and summit
Area 525 hectares (1,300 acres)
Area rank 72[2]
Highest elevation Beinn a' Bhàillidh,
265 metres (869 ft)
Population 2[3]
Population rank 86=[2]
Pop. density 0.4 people/km2[3][4]
Main settlement Invermoidart
Island group Inner Hebrides
Local Authority Highland
Flag of Scotland.svg Lymphad3.svg
References [4][5]

Eilean Shona (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Seòna) is a tidal island in Loch Moidart, Scotland. The modern name may be from the Old Norse for "sea island". The pre-Norse Gaelic name, as recorded by Adomnán was Airthrago or Arthràigh, meaning 'foreshore island', similar to the derivation of Erraid.[1][6]

The Old Schoolhouse on Eilean Shona
"Tioram Cottage" with Castle Tioram in background

It was leased to writer J. M. Barrie in the 1920s, who used it as a summer holiday retreat for himself, his foster sons Michael and Nicholas Llewelyn Davies, and a few of their friends.[7] It was here he wrote a screenplay for the 1924 film adaptation of Peter Pan.

In 1851 there were reports of evacuations and emigrations of 37 families from the island and the nearby settlement of Dorlinn in the wake of potato blight.[8] In 1856 the sale price of the island was just £6,500. It is currently owned by Vanessa Branson and Robert Devereux who purchased the island in 1995 for a sum believed to be in the region of £1.3 million.[4] The current usually resident population is 2,[3] down from 9 in 2001.[9]

There are several small attendant isles include Riska Island, Eilean an Fhèidh and Eilean Tioram. Eilean Shona House overlooks Riska and Castle Tioram. The old Schoolhouse (on the North Shore track between Sawmill and Baramore) is in an isolated position, some two miles down a track, reputedly because when it was built in the nineteenth century the wife of the island's owner did not wish to be disturbed by children.[4]

The peninsula of Shona Beag is accessible from the mainland by a short causeway at low tide. Eilean Shona is one of 43 tidal islands that can be walked to from the mainland of Great Britain and one of 17 that can be walked to from the Scottish mainland.[10]


  1. ^ a b Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2003) Ainmean-àite/Placenames. (pdf) Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands >20ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
  3. ^ a b c National Records of Scotland (15 August 2013) (pdf) Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland - Release 1C (Part Two). "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland’s inhabited islands". Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Haswell-Smith, Hamish. (2004) The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh. Canongate.
  5. ^ Ordnance Survey. Get-a-map (Map). 1:25,000. Leisure. http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/getamap/. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  6. ^ Watson, W. J. (1994) The Celtic Place-Names of Scotland. Edinburgh; Birlinn. ISBN 1841583235. First published 1926. pp. 75-76
  7. ^ Birkin, Andrew, The Lost Boys, (Yale University Press)
  8. ^ Moidart.org Retrieved 9 July 2007.
  9. ^ General Register Office for Scotland (28 November 2003) Scotland's Census 2001 – Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  10. ^ Caton, Peter (2011) No Boat Required - Exploring Tidal Islands. Matador.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°48′N 5°51′W / 56.800°N 5.850°W / 56.800; -5.850