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Eigg, Inverness-shire

Historical Description

EIGG, an island, in the parish of Small Isles, and county of Inverness; containing 546 inhabitants. This highly interesting island is one of a cluster of isles which constitute the parish; it is about three miles and a half in length and two and a half in breadth, and lies ten miles westward of Arisaig on the main land. The whole shore is rocky, with the exception of Lagg bay, on the west side; the surface is uneven, and diversified by hills covered with heath, which in some places is mixed with coarse grass. The low grounds are tolerably productive where there is a sufficiency of soil, and about a third part of the island is arable and pasture land, the rest being moor and moss, applied to the rearing of cattle, which is the chief occupation of the inhabitants. The highest elevation is towards the south, where a singularly-formed hill, called the Scuir of Eigg, terminates in a lofty peak, said to be 1340 feet in height, and surrounded by perpendicular precipices. Through the middle of the island runs a hollow, called in Gaelic Eagg; and hence is derived its name: on the south-eastern side are several caves. There are various Danish forts; and a barrow here is said to be the burial-place of Donnan, the tutelary saint of the island.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis