Holy Isle, Firth of Clyde


Holy Isle, Firth of Clyde
Holy Isle
Location
Holy Isle is located in Scotland
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Holy Isle
Holy Isle shown within Scotland
OS grid reference NS063297
Names
Gaelic name An t-Eilean Àrd or Eilean MoLaise
Meaning of name "the high island" or "Laisren's island" in Gaelic.
Area and summit
Area 253 ha (0.98 sq mi)
Area rank 97
Highest elevation Mullach Mòr 314 m (1,030 ft) (a Marilyn)
Population
Population 13
Population rank 68= out of 97
Groupings
Island group Firth of Clyde
Local Authority North Ayrshire
Flag of Scotland.svg Lymphad3.svg
References [1][2][3][4]
If shown, area and population ranks are for all Scottish islands and all inhabited Scottish islands respectively. Population data is from 2001 census.

The Holy Isle, Firth of Clyde (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean MoLaise) is one of a number of islands in the United Kingdom which go under the name "Holy Island". It is located in the Firth of Clyde off the west coast of central Scotland, inside Lamlash Bay on the larger island of Arran.

Contents

Details

Holy Isle seen from Arran
Mullach Mòr
Elevation 314 m (1,030 ft)
Prominence 314 m (1,030 ft)
Listing Marilyn
Translation Big hill (Gaelic)
Pronunciation Scottish Gaelic: [ˈmul̪ˠəx ˈmoːɾ]
Location
Location Firth of Clyde, Scotland
Coordinates 55°31′30″N 5°04′20″W / 55.525°N 5.07222°W / 55.525; -5.07222Coordinates: 55°31′30″N 5°04′20″W / 55.525°N 5.07222°W / 55.525; -5.07222
Topo map OS Landranger 69
OS grid NS063297

The island is around 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long and around 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) wide. Its highest point is the hill Mullach Mòr.

The island has a long history as a sacred site, with a spring or Holy well held to have healing properties, the hermit cave of 6th Century monk Saint Molaise, and evidence of a 13th Century monastery. An old Gaelic name for the island was Eilean MoLaise, Molaise's Island; this is the origin (via Elmolaise and Limolas) of "Lamlash", the name of the village on Arran that faces Holy Island.

Some runic writing is to be found on the roof of St. Molaise's cave.

The Viking fleet sheltered between Arran and Holy Isle before the Battle of Largs.

The rare Rock Whitebeam tree is found on the island, an essential link in the evolution of the Arran Whitebeam species, Sorbus arranensis, Sorbus pseudofennica and Sorbus pseudomeinichii. These are indigenous and unique to Arran.

The island is now owned by the Samyé Ling Buddhist Community, who belong to the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The settlements on the island include the Centre for World Peace and Health, founded by Lama Yeshe Losal, on the north of the island. This is an environmentally designed residential centre for courses and retreats which extends the former farm house. It has solar water heating and a reed-bed sewage treatment system. The approach from the ferry jetty is decorated with Tibetan flags and stupas.

On the southern end of the island lives a community of nuns who are undertaking three year retreats. The remainder of the island is treated as a nature reserve with wild Eriskay ponies, Saanen goat, Soay sheep and the replanting of native trees.

There is a regular ferry service from Lamlash, and the island is popular with holiday makers staying on Arran.

Gallery

Footnotes

  1. ^ 2001 UK Census per List of islands of Scotland
  2. ^ Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 1841954543. 
  3. ^ Ordnance Survey
  4. ^ Iain Mac an Tailleir. "Placenames". Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/vli/language/gaelic/pdfs/placenamesF-J.pdf. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 

External links


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