Slate Islands

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Na h- Urrachann, Isle of Scarba, looking North towards the Slate Islands

The Slate Islands are an island group in the Inner Hebrides, lying immediately off the west coast of Scotland, north of Jura and southwest of Oban. The main islands are Seil, Easdale, Luing, Lunga, Shuna, Torsa and Belnahua. Scarba and Kerrera which lie nearby, are not usually included.[1]

The underlying geology of the islands is Dalradian slate, which was quarried widely until the mid-twentieth century. Quarry working began in 1630 and at the turn of the 20th century, the quarries were yielding some eight million slates every year. Eilean-a-beithich ("island of the birches") was once one of the Slate Islands, located in Easdale Sound. However, it was quarried to a depth of 75m (nearly 250ft) below sea level leaving only the outer rim of the island. This was eventually swept away by the sea and little visible sign of the island now remains.[2]

The Garvellachs lie immediately southwest of the islands.


  1. ^ Description of the Western Isles of Scotland.
  2. ^ "Slate Islands - The Islands that Roofed the World" Retrieved 14 November 2009.

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Coordinates: 56°14′52″N 5°38′38″W / 56.24778°N 5.64389°W / 56.24778; -5.64389