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For other things named Torsa, see Torsa (disambiguation).
Gaelic name Torsa
Norse name Torsey/Þorirsey
Meaning of name "Thorir's island" (Norse via Gaelic)
Torsa is located in Argyll and Bute
Torsa shown within Argyll and Bute
OS grid reference NM762130
Coordinates 56°16′N 5°37′W / 56.26°N 5.62°W / 56.26; -5.62
Physical geography
Island group Slate Islands
Area 113 hectares (0.44 sq mi)
Area rank 143 [1]
Highest elevation 62 metres (203 ft)
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Council area Argyll and Bute
Population 0
References [2][3][4][5]

Torsa (occasionally Torsay) is one of the Slate Islands in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

The north end of Torsa with the heights of Dùn Crutagain beyond, seen from Seil

Lying east of Luing and south of Seil, the island was inhabited until the 1960s. There is now only one house on the island, which is used for holiday lets.[6] Its main industry is farming, with cattle brought over from the neighbouring island of Luing. The Luing cattle were bred for their hardiness.

The island is connected to its smaller partner, Torsa Beag (Gaelic for little Torsa). In the bay beyond is a suspected crannog.

The island is best known for the ruined sixteenth-century hunting lodge Caisteal nan Con. This is known locally as the Castle of the Dogs. It is doubtful that the castle would have originally been built as a hunting lodge, as it is in a very fine defensive position built upon a sheer rocky outcrop overlooking the sea on three sides. However, over time this may have become the final use of the building before falling into disrepair.


  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. ^ Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7. 
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey
  5. ^ Iain Mac an Tailleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  6. ^ "Torsa Island Website & Gallery". Retrieved 2007-07-28. 

Coordinates: 56°15′26″N 5°37′0″W / 56.25722°N 5.61667°W / 56.25722; -5.61667