Eilean Choraidh

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Eilean Choraidh
Scottish Gaelic nameEilean Choraidh
Eilean Choraidh is located in Highland
Eilean Choraidh
Eilean Choraidh
Eilean Choraidh shown within Highland Scotland
OS grid referenceNC421580
Coordinates58°28′55″N 4°42′32″W / 58.482°N 4.709°W / 58.482; -4.709
Physical geography
Island groupOutlier
Area26 ha[1]
Highest elevation26 m[2]
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Council areaHighland
Population rankn/a [3]

Eilean Choraidh, also known as Horse Island[4] is an island in Loch Eriboll in Sutherland on the north coast of Scotland. It is about 26 hectares (64 acres) in extent and the highest point is 26 metres (85 ft) above sea level.

During the 19th century the Reay estate quarried lime from Eilean Choraidh, treated it in kilns on the nearby peninsula of Ard Neakie, and exported it by ship.[5]

The census of 1931 records a single male inhabitant, and there has been no indication of any permanent residents since then. This may be partly because Eilean Choraidh was used as a representation of the German battleship Tirpitz for target practice by Mosquito bombers of the Royal Air Force during World War II.[4] The Ordnance Survey indicate the presence of two ruined buildings, one in the centre of the island north of a long wall that runs east to west and another at the north end.[2] Today, the island is used for grazing sheep.[6]

A variety of wild mammals are present including otters, grey seals and cetaceans. Beds of maerl, a corraline algae that has been identified as a priority habitat in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, has been recorded in the channels on either side of Eilean Choraidh. The sea pen, Virgularia mirabilis is also present in the inner loch.[7]

Eilean Choraidh.



  • Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.


  1. ^ Rick Livingstone’s Tables of the Islands of Scotland (pdf) Argyll Yacht Charters. Retrieved 12 Dec 2011.
  2. ^ a b Ordnance Survey. OS Maps Online (Map). 1:25,000. Leisure.
  3. ^ Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands over 20 ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
  4. ^ a b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 203
  5. ^ "Loch Eriboll" www.ports.org.uk. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  6. ^ "Place Names in Durness" Archived 2008-05-15 at the Wayback Machine countysutherland.co.uk. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Loch Eriboll Aquaculture Framework Plan" Archived 2012-02-22 at the Wayback Machine (August 2000) (pdf) The Highland Council. Retrieved 29 November 2009.

Coordinates: 58°28′55″N 4°42′32″W / 58.48194°N 4.70889°W / 58.48194; -4.70889