Pabaigh Mòr

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Pabaigh Mòr
Gaelic name Pabaigh Mòr
Norse name pap-øy
Meaning of name island of the priest
Pabaigh Mòr is located in Outer Hebrides
Pabaigh Mòr
Pabaigh Mòr
Pabaigh Mòr shown within the Outer Hebrides
OS grid reference NB100380
Coordinates 58°14′N 6°56′W / 58.23°N 6.94°W / 58.23; -6.94
Physical geography
Island group Lewis and Harris
Area 101 hectares (0.39 sq mi)
Area rank 148 [1]
Highest elevation Beinn Mhòr 68 metres (223 ft)
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Council area Na h-Eileanan Siar
Population 0
References [2][3][4][5]

Pabay Mòr or Pabaigh Mòr is an uninhabited island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.


Old lobster lagoon

The island's name comes from papey, an Old Norse name meaning "Island of the papar or culdees". The remains of St Peter's Church and burial ground are in the south east around Loch na Teampall ("temple loch"), and to the south east of the loch itself is Cnoc na Cille ("hill of the monk's cell").

The island was connected to Clan MacLeod throughout much of its history.[3]

Sergeant Evander MacIver was given the island on retirement from the Seaforth Regiment in 1800, in lieu of a pension. However, twenty seven years later, his family became victims of the Highland Clearances, and his descendants can be found in Valtos in neighbouring Lewis. It is said that the founder of Cunard was related to this family.[3]

In World War I, it is suspected that a German U-boat landed here surreptitiously, and unloaded boxes of provisions, which were found later.[3]

The current owner has restored a couple of blackhouses on the island, but it is uninhabited most of the time. Valtos crofters retain grazing rights on the island.

Geography and geology[edit]

Pabaigh Mòr lies off the west coast of Lewis in West Loch Roag, north of Vacsay. The island is Lewisian gneiss with a light soil. It has a number of caves, sea spouts, and natural arches. To the north, Pabay Beag is separated by a sheltered pool.[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. ^ 2001 UK Census per List of islands of Scotland
  3. ^ a b c d e Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7. 
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey
  5. ^ Anderson, Joseph (Ed.) (1893) Orkneyinga Saga. Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. James Thin and Mercat Press (1990 reprint). ISBN 0-901824-25-9

Coordinates: 58°14′N 6°56′W / 58.233°N 6.933°W / 58.233; -6.933