Islay, Jura and Colonsay: A Historical Guide

Islay, Jura and Colonsay: A Historical Guide

by David Caldwell


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The story of Islay, Jura and Colonsay is one of the most fascinating amongst all the Hebrides. They have had substantial human occupation since earliest times and man has left many relics across the islands, from tools and artifacts of Mesolithic times to the modern-day distilleries of Islay and Jura. From the period in-between survive chambered cairns, iron age forts, magnificent early crosses, enigmatic carvings, early monasteries, relics of the Lordship of the Isles, deserted townships and shielings, planned villages, corn mills, kelp kilns and lead mines and much else besides.

Far more than a gazetteer, this book is based on a great deal of intensive primary research and local knowledge and is essential reading for local and tourist alike.

Islay, Jura and Colonsay is part of Birlinn’s Historical Guides series, which will eventually cover the whole of Scotland.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781912476541
Publisher: Birlinn, Limited
Publication date: 06/14/2019
Sales rank: 787,350
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x (d)

About the Author

Dr David Caldwell is a former Keeper of Scotland & Europe in the National Museums of Scotland. In the 1990s he directed excavations at Finlaggan on Islay, the centre of the Lordship of the Isles. He is the author of Islay: The Land of the Lordship (2008) and Mull and Iona: A Historical Guide (2018).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements v

List of Plates vi

List of Maps viii

List of Illustrations ix

List of Genealogical Tables xv

Visiting the Islands xvi

Useful Addresses xix

The Geographical Background xxiii

A Note on Dates xxix

Part I

1 Hunters and Gathers: the Early Postglacial Period 3

2 Early Farmers: the Neolithic and Bronze Age 7

3 A Warrior Society: the Iron Age and Early Historic Period 17

4 The Kingdom and Lordship of the Isles: the Medieval Period 29

5 Clann Iain Mhor and the Campbells: the Post-Medieval Period 59

6 Improving Ways: the Early Modern Period 79

7 Modern Times: the 20th Century 95

Part II Gazetteer of Select Sites and Monuments

1 Mesolithic Sites 99

2 Neolithic and Bronze Age Sites 103

3 Iron Age and Early Historic Sites 119

4 Medieval Sites 143

5 Post-Medieval Sites 183

6 Early Modern Sites 193

7 Modern and Miscellaneous Sites 219

Further Reading 222

Index 234

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