List of islands of Scotland

List of islands of Scotland

This is a list of the islands of Scotland, the mainland of which is part of the island of Great Britain. Also included are various other related tables and lists. The definition of an offshore island used in this list is that it is "land that is surrounded by seawater on a daily basis, but not necessarily at all stages of the tide, excluding human devices such as bridges and causeways". [Various other definitions are used. For example the General Register Office for Scotland define an island as "a mass of land surrounded by water, separate from the Scottish mainland" but although they include islands linked by bridges etc. this is not clear from this definition. Haswell-Smith (2004) uses "an Island is a piece of land or group of pieces of land which is entirely surrounded by water at Lowest Astronomical Tide and to which there is no permanent means of dry access". This is widely agreed to be unhelpful as it consciously excludes bridged islands. However, the large numbers of small tidal islets essentially defy categorisation.]

Scotland has over 790 offshore islands, most of which are to be found in four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the Hebrides, sub-divided into the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides.cite book| author=Haswell-Smith, Hamish| date=2004| title=The Scottish Islands| location=Edinburgh| publisher=Canongate| isbn=1-84195-454-3] There are also clusters of islands in the Firth of Clyde, Firth of Forth, and Solway Firth, and numerous small islands within the many bodies of freshwater in Scotland including Loch Lomond and Loch Maree.

Many of these islands are swept by strong tides, and the Corryvreckan tide race between Scarba and Jura is one of the largest whirlpools in the world. Other strong tides are to be found in the Pentland Firth between mainland Scotland and Orkney, and the "Grey Dog" between Scarba and Lunga.The geology and geomorphology of the islands is varied. Some such as Skye and Mull are mountainous whilst others like Tiree and Sanday are relatively low lying. Many have bedrock made from ancient Archaen Lewisian Gneiss which was originally laid down 3 billion years ago, Shapinsay and other Orkney islands are formed from Old Red Sandstone, which is 400 million years old, and others such as Rùm from more recent Tertiary volcanoes [McKirdy, Alan Gordon, John & Crofts, Roger (2007) "Land of Mountain and Flood: The Geology and Landforms of Scotland". Edinburgh. Birlinn.]

The largest island is Lewis and Harris which extends to 2,179 square kilometres, and there are a further 200 islands which are greater than 40 hectares in area. Of the remainder, several such as Staffa and the Flannan Isles have achieved considerable notability despite their small size.

Some 97 Scottish islands are populated, of which 92 are offshore islands. Many previously inhabited islands such as Mingulay, Noss and the St Kilda archipelago have been abandoned during the course of the past century and today only 14 islands are populated by over 1,000 people and 45 by over 100. Between 1991 and 2001, the population of the islands fell by 3 per cent overall, although there were 35 islands whose population increased. The total population of all the islands in 2001 was 99,739.cite paper| url=| title=Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands| author=General Register Office for Scotland| date=28 Nov 2003| accessdate=2007-07-25]

The culture of the islands has been affected by the successive influences of Celtic, Norse and English speaking peoples and this is reflected in names given to the islands. Most of the Hebrides have Scots Gaelic derivations, whilst those of the Northern Isles tend to be derived from the Viking names. A few have Brythonic, Scots and even perhaps pre-Celtic roots. A feature of modern island life is the low crime rate and they are considered to be amongst the safest places to live in the UK. [Ross, John (05 October 2007) "Isolated Communities Where Violent Crime Comes as a Shock". Edinburgh. "The Scotsman".]

Rockall, is a small rocky islet in the North Atlantic which was declared part of Scotland by the Island of Rockall Act 1972. [cite web| url=| title=On This Day: 21 September| publisher=BBC| accessdate=2007-08-01] [cite web| url=| title=House of Lords Hansard| date=24 June, 1997| accessdate=2007-08-01] However, the legality of the claim is disputed by the Republic of Ireland, Denmark and Iceland and it is probably unenforceable in international law. [cite journal| url=| title=Oral Questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs| publisher=Dáil Éireann| date=1 November, 1973| accessdate=2007-01-17] [cite journal| author=MacDonald, Fraser| year=2006| title=The last outpost of Empire: Rockall and the Cold War| journal=Journal of Historical Geography| volume=32| pages=627–647| url=| accessdate=2007-08-01| doi=10.1016/j.jhg.2005.10.009]

Larger islands

This is a list of Scottish islands either with an area greater than 40 hectares (approximately 100 acres) and/or which are inhabited. The "Groups" which in many cases provide a more useful guide to location than local authority areas are after Haswell-Smith (2004). The main Groups are: Firth of Clyde, Islay, Firth of Lorn, Mull, Small Isles, Skye, Lewis and Harris, Uists and Barra, St Kilda, Orkney, Shetland and Firth of Forth. In a few cases where the island is either part of recognisable smaller group or archipelago, or is located away from the main groups, an archipelago, local authority or other descriptive name is used instead. "F" designates a freshwater island.

mall archipelagos

There are various small archipelagos which may be better known than the larger islands they contain. These include:

Lewis and Harris are separated by a range of hills but form one island, and are sometimes referred to as "Lewis and Harris". Isle of Whithorn and the Black Isle are peninsulas, and Isleornsay is a village which looks out onto the island of Ornsay. There is no commonly accepted derivation for "Burntisland" which had numerous other forms in the past, such as "Brintilun" and "Ye Brint Eland". [ [ Burntisland Online] Retrieved 22 June 2007.]

Gluss Isle at the western entrance to Sullom Voe is one of the many promontories in Orkney and Shetland connected to a larger body of land by an ayre.

Other elements

The name "Inch" ("Innis") can mean island (e.g. Inchkenneth, Inchcolm), but is also used for "terra firma" surrounded by marsh e.g. Markinch, Insch.

"Eilean" is Gaelic for "island". However, Inistrynich, Eilean na Maodail, Eilean Dubh and Liever Island are all promontories on Loch Awe as opposed to islands, despite their names. Likewise Eilean Aoidhe on Loch Fyne. The Black Isle is also "An t-Eilean Dubh" in Gaelic, while Eilean Glas is part of Scalpay.

"-holm" is also common as a suffix in various landlocked placenames, especially in the far south of mainland Scotland e.g. Langholm, Kirk Yetholm, Holmhead (by Cumnock), Holmhill (next to Thornhill, Nithsdale). Some of these were river islands in their time, or dry land surrounded by marsh. "Holm" can be found in an element in Holmsgarth, now a suburb of Lerwick and the Parish of Holm on Mainland Shetland and Mainland Orkney respectively. Neither of these is an island in its own right.

Islands named after mainland areas

Likewise, occasionally an island may be named after a location on the nearby mainland, or a major neighbouring island - or vice versa. Examples of this include Vementry, which was originally the name of an island, but whose name has been transferred to a nearby farm on Mainland Shetland, Oldany Island, whose name has been transferred to Oldany; Cramond Island which is named after neighbouring Cramond (a district of Edinburgh) and Eilean Mhealasta in the Outer Hebrides, which is named after Mealista on Lewis.

See also

* Geography of Scotland
* List of Orkney islands
* List of Shetland islands
* List of Marilyns on Scottish islands
* List of islands of England
* List of islands of Wales
* List of islands of Ireland
* British Isles
* List of the British Isles by area

References and footnotes

;General references
* Haswell-Smith, Hamish. (2004) "The Scottish Islands". Edinburgh. Canongate. ISBN 1-84195-454-3
* General Register Office for Scotland (28 Nov 2003) " [ Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands] ". Retrieved 9 July 2007.;Specific references and notes

External links

* [ Scottish Island Network - Population Statistics]

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