Island I Vow

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Island I Vow - - 1041594.jpg

Eilean I Vow is a small island in Loch Lomond in west central Scotland. Other variants of the name include Ellan I Vow, Eilean a' Vow, Elanvow, Ellan Vhow and Island I Vow. The island is listed in 13th/14th century charters as "Elanvow"[1][2][3].

It is opposite Rubha Bàn, a point on the mainland, and north of Inveruglas Isle. It is 10 m at its highest point, and 0.08 km long.

The island was a stronghold of Clan MacFarlane, and there are the remains of their castle on it, which was built to replace the one on Inveruglas Isle.[4] In 1710, Buchanan of Auchmar described it as "a pretty good house with gardens".[4]

The etymology of the name may alternatively represent "Eilean a' Bhuth" (island of the shop or store)[4][5] or "Eilean a' Bhogha" (Island of the Sunken Rock)[6]. For more research on the historical names of Island I Vow click here. In 1962, I.M.M. McPhail speculated that the name might derive from Eilean a' Bhò or "Island of the Cow"[7], but Scottish Gaelic experts, including experts at Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba, have indicated that that is not grammatically correct and is not possible.

Island I Vow archaeology and preservation[edit]

Island I Vow is protected by the Scottish Government under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. This site is listed as Scheduled Ancient Monument 11073. The castle is of national and international importance for its historical associations with the MacFarlane chiefs and for the potential of its above and below ground archaeology as a representative example of medieval island strongholds. See the associated Historic Scotland site for more information. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) provides additional archaeological notes and lists Ellan Vhow as an alternate name for the island. These notes reference some of the archaeological work done at the site since 1995 as well as describing the condition of the site and the need for preservation. The Ellan Vhow Preservation Fund (The Elanvow Preservation Fund) has been set up to support archaeological study and preservation of this historic site. Photographs of Elanvow and information on some of the associated preservation works there can be found here.

External links[edit]


  • Worsley, Harry Loch Lomond: The Loch, the Lairds and the Legends ISBN 978-1-898169-34-5 Lindsay Publications (Glasgow) 1988
  1. ^ Cartularium Comitatus de Levenax. Maitland Club. 1833. p. 64.
  2. ^ "Cartalarium Comitatus de Levenax".
  3. ^ Nisbet, Alexander (1804). A System of Heraldry, Speculative and Practical : with the True Art of Blazon, ..., 2nd ed. v II. Edinburgh: Alexander Lawrie and Company. p. 59.
  4. ^ a b c "Introduction to Loch Lomond Islands". Callander, Trossachs and Loch Lomond. Archived from the original on 2008-09-21. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
  5. ^ "Names of the Islands of Lochlomond in Irish and English" (Dated 1701), Analecta Scotica: collections illustrative of the civil, ecclesiastical and literal history of Scotland, James Maidment, 1834, p. 116
  6. ^ "The illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary", Edward Dwelly, Birlinn Limited (1993), p 1014
  7. ^ McPhail, I.M.M. (1962). A Short History of Dumbartonshire. p. 29.

Coordinates: 56°16′40″N 4°41′50″W / 56.27778°N 4.69722°W / 56.27778; -4.69722