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Not to be confused with Pabbay (disambiguation).
Gaelic name Pabaigh
Norse name Papey
Meaning of name Island of the papar
Pabay is located in Isle of Skye
Pabay shown relative to Skye
OS grid reference NG674271
Physical geography
Island group Isle of Skye
Area 122 hectares (0.47 sq mi)
Area rank 136= [1]
Highest elevation 28 metres (92 ft)
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Council area Highland Council
Population 0
References [2][3][4]
Post box on Pabay, looking over to Skye
Pabay relative to Skye

Pabay is a Scottish island just off the coast of the Skye.


Pabay is an island in the Inner Sound of Skye, north of Broadford. It lies south of Longay and east of the larger Scalpay.[5]

The island is formed of fossil-containing limestone, with some micaceous shale, named Pabba Shale.[6] It forms a flat plateau with cliffs on the North and East shores. The surrounding low reefs encroach on its shores and double the area at low water.[6]


Dean Monro in 1549 gave the following description:

At the shore of Skye foresaid, lies an isle called Pabay, near one mile in length, full of woods, good for fishing, and a main shelter for thieves and cut-throats, it pertains to Mackinnon.[7]

Pabay was inhabited in the 19th century.[8] The island has a single house and is only accessible by boat or helicopter.[6]

It issues its own postage stamps.[5]


Pabay's flora consists of heath, dry grassland, herb marsh, salt marsh, woodland remnants and 30.5 hectares (75 acres) of newly planted trees.[6]


"Cricket on Pabay" is a painting by Elizabeth Edenborough.[9]


  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. ^ Ordnance Survey
  4. ^ Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7. 
  5. ^ a b "Overview for Pabay". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Isle of Pabay - History". Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  7. ^ Monro, Donald (High Dean of the Isles), Description of the Western Isles of Scotland (William Auld, Edinburgh, 1774), at page 26 (Google Books, accessed on 13 July 2010)
  8. ^ Samuel Lewis (1846). A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland: Pabay. pp. 337–51. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  9. ^ "Cricket on Pabay" Retrieved 31 July 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°16′30″N 5°51′35″W / 57.27500°N 5.85972°W / 57.27500; -5.85972