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Gaelic name Gunnaigh
Norse name Gunni-øy
Meaning of name "Gunni's island"
Gunna is located in Argyll and Bute
Gunna shown within Argyll and Bute
OS grid reference NM100513
Coordinates 56°34′N 6°43′W / 56.56°N 6.72°W / 56.56; -6.72
Physical geography
Island group Mull
Area 69 hectares (0.27 sq mi)
Area rank 176 [1]
Highest elevation 35 metres (115 ft)
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Council area Argyll and Bute
Population 0
References [2][3][4]

Gunna (Gaelic: Gunnaigh) is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.

Geography and geology[edit]

Gunna lies between Coll and Tiree, closer to Coll. It is 69 hectares (0.27 sq mi) in area, 35 metres (115 ft) at its highest point, and currently uninhabited. Nowhere is it wider than 500 metres (550 yd).

It is surrounded by various smaller islands including Eilean Frachlan (just off the north coast), Eilean nan Gamhna off the south coast, Soy Gunna to the north east, and Eilean Bhoramull, which is nearer Coll. It is surrounded by many rocks, especially in Gunna Sound (Scottish Gaelic: Am Bun Dubh[5]), between it and Tiree.

According to Haswell-Smith, the island has a: "bedrock of paragneiss schist with a light sandy soil. Metasediments in the west grade into undifferentiated gneiss in the east".[3]

Etymology and history[edit]

"Gunni" is a Norse forename, and Haswell-Smith suggests that Gunni-øy means "island of Gunni the Dane" (although it is not recorded for which Gunni the island was named) or conceivably that the modern name is from Eilean nan Gamhna, Gaelic for "island of the stirks". Mac an Tàilleir suggests that the Norse means "Gunnar's island".[6]

It was possibly an anchorite/culdee's island at some point - beside the old well, there is Port na Cille, which means Port of the Monk's Cell. Uamh Mòr, (big cave) on the north coast, could well be where the hermit sheltered.

According to Mac an Tàilleir Gunna is mentioned in the lines of a song, "Farewell beyond Gunna to Mull of the great mountains".[6]


Gunna supports a wide range of sea birds, as well as geese, and shelducks. Grey seals also breed here.

It is currently used for grazing from Coll.[3]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b c Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. pp. 115–16. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7. 
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey. Get-a-map (Map). 1:25,000. Leisure. Retrieved 21 August 2013. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Rannsaich/translation search". UHI. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  6. ^ a b Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2003) Ainmean-àite/Placenames. (pdf) Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 26 August 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°34′N 6°43′W / 56.567°N 6.717°W / 56.567; -6.717