View from near Toberonochy, Luing
|OS grid reference||NM740100|
|Meaning of name||pre-Gaelic name of unclear meaning|
|Area and summit|
|Area||1,430 hectares (5.5 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||94 metres (308 ft) Beinn Furachail|
|Pop. density||12.6 people/km2|
|Island group||Slate Islands|
|Local Authority||Argyll and Bute|
Luing (Gaelic: Luinn) is one of the Slate Islands, Firth of Lorn, in the west of Argyll in Scotland, about 16 miles south of Oban. The island has an area of 1,430 hectares (5.5 sq mi) and is bounded by several small skerries and islets. It has a population of around 200 people, mostly living in Cullipool, Toberonochy (Tobar Dhonnchaidh), and Blackmillbay.
Economy and culture
The main industries on Luing are tourism, lobster fishing and beef farming, although slate quarrying was important until 1965, with quarries at Toberonochy, Cullipool, and a smaller one at Port Mary. Slate from Luing was used in the construction of the University of Glasgow and re-roofing of Iona Abbey.
Luing cattle were first developed here, as a commercial beef breed hardy enough to prosper under adverse weather. They are a breed of red beef cattle, produced by the Cadzow family in 1947 from a cross between Beef Shorthorn and Highland cattle.
According to Haswell-Smith (2004) the name "Luing" may derive from the Old Norse lyng, meaning "heather" or long meaning ship. However, Mac an Tàilleir (2003) states "this is probably a pre-Gaelic name of unclear meaning."
In the early part of the Christian era Luing would have formed part of the Gaelic kingdom of Dalriada. From the 9th to 13th centuries almost all of the Hebrides came under the control of Norse settlers and formed part of the Kingdom of the Isles. However, when Edgar of Scotland signed a treaty with Magnus Barefoot in 1098, formally acknowledged the existing situation by giving up Scottish claims to the Hebrides and Kintyre, Luing and Lismore were retained by the Scots.
The graveyard at the ruined church of Kilchattan documents the lives of past islanders, with quarriers, sailors and crofters side by side. Gravestones of note include those of Covenanter Alexander Campbell.
- Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands >20ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
- 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.
- Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 70
- Ordnance Survey. Get-a-map (Map). 1:25,000. Leisure. http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/getamap/. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- Mac an Tàilleir (2003) p. 83
- "Luing". Undiscovered Scotland. Retrieved 28 July 2007.
- "Luing Cattle". Luing Cattle Society. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
- "Overview of Luing". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
- Sellar (2000) p. 191
- "Luing: Heritage". Isle of Luing Website. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
- Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2003) Ainmean-àite/Placenames. (pdf) Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Sellar, William David Hamilton (2000). "Hebridean sea kings: The successors of Somerled, 1164–1316". In Cowan, Edward J.; McDonald, Russell Andrew. Alba: Celtic Scotland in the middle ages. Tuckwell Press. ISBN 1-86232-151-5.
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