Little Cumbrae

Little Cumbrae

Infobox Scottish island |
celtic name=Cumaradh Beag
norse name=Kumrey Litla
meaning of name=Possibly "Little Island of the Cymry"
area=313 ha
area rank=84
highest elevation=Lighthouse Hill 123 m
Population= 0
population rank=
main settlement=
island group=Islands of the Clyde
local authority=North Ayrshire
references= [2001 UK Census per List of islands of Scotland] Haswell-Smith, Hamish. (2004) The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh. Canongate.] [ [ Ordnance Survey] ]

Little Cumbrae (Scottish Gaelic Cumaradh Beag) is an island in the Firth of Clyde, in North Ayrshire, Scotland. The island is known locally as Wee Cumbrae.


Little Cumbrae lies barely a kilometre to the south of its larger neighbour, Great Cumbrae. The islands are collectively referred to as The Cumbraes. In stark contrast to its neighbour, green and fertile Great Cumbrae, Little Cumbrae is a rough and rocky island. With its many cliffs and rocky outcrops Little Cumbrae bears more of a resemblance to a Hebridean island than to some of its neighbours in the Clyde.

A number of uninhabited islets skirt the island's east coast, Castle Isle, the Broad Islands and Trail Isle.

Today the island's main settlement is at Little Cumbrae House on the eastern shore, facing the Scottish mainland.


Robert II is said to have built a castle on the island which was demolished by Cromwell's soldiers in 1653. [cite web| url=| publisher=Gazetteer for Scotland| title=Overview of Little Cumbrae| accessdate=2007-11-11]


Cumbrae Lighthouse was built in 1793 by Thomas Smith who was under commission from the Commissioners of the Northern Lights. The lighthouse lies on a broad raised beach on the western shore of the island looking out into the Firth.

Prior to the creation of the lighthouse, Little Cumbrae had an open fire light atop Lighthouse Hill. This extremely old structure can still be seen.


Little Cumbrae was privately purchased in 2003 and there were plans for its development as a memorial park, nature reserve and corporate escape, but the island is now being sold for £2.5 million. [cite web| url=| title=Rare chance to own a historic Scottish Private Island | accessdate=2007-11-11] It is under consideration by an entrepreneur to be opened as a luxury resort.


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