Canna and Sanday

Canna and Sanday, Inner Hebrides, Scotland.  Day 14 to 15 , 12th to 13th July.

Lismore Lighthouse

Lismore Lighthouse

From Mull I took the ferry to Oban for an eight-day photographic cruise of the Hebrides with Chris Gomersall, Photographer.

Lismore lighthouse is at the end of Eilean Musdile, a projection of the island of Lismore in the Sound of Mull, on the opposite side of the sound from Mull.  It was built in 1833 by Robert Stevenson and automated in 1965.

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Launch and Ketch

Passing by an old ketch in the Sound of Mull.

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Ardtornish Castle

Ardtornish Castle is on the Scottish mainland, opposite Mull on the Sound of Mull, not far from Lochaline where a ferry from Mull arrives and departs.  It was the principal residence of the high chiefs of Clan Donald during the period when they were Lords of the Isles from the early thirteenth to late fourteenth centuries.

The last lord John signed a treaty with Edward IV of England there in 1461, agreeing to become an English vassal in exchange for a third of the Kingdom of Scotland when Edward conquered it (which never happened).   This later became known and led to the end of the Lordship of the Isles in 1493.   The castle was abandoned around the end of the seventeenth century.

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Sanday

We have now reached Canna where we stayed the night and went exploring the next day.  This view is actually of Sanday a small island formerly separated from Canna at high tide but recently connected by a road even at high tide.  Although Canna is run by the National Trust for Scotland as a single farm, crofting still survives on some parts of Sanday.

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Church of St Edward the Confessor, Sanday

This the deconsecrated Catholic Church of St Edward the Confessor on Sanday.  Although it looks as though it could be maybe a great age, it was built between 1886 and 1890 and is currently in a state of disrepair.

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Sanday and Canna

This is looking towards Sanday with Canna in the distance.

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Canna House and Gille Brighde Cafe and Restaurant, Canna

On the right is the Gille Brighde Cafe and Restaurant and behind the trees is Canna House. I left some of my photographic gear at the cafe when I went for a walk and picked it up and had a beer there on the way back.  Canna House was built in 1865 and remains in original condition including the fittings of the interior.  It has an extensive Gaelic library from its most recent owners, before it was taken over by the National Trust for Scotland.

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Sanday

This is Sanday again.

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Church, Canna

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Canna

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Post Office, Canna

The Post Office is a converted garden shed.

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Canna

Canna (including Sanday) was severely affected by the clearances.  Its population fell from 436 in 1821 to 12 in 2001 and is now somewhere around 20.

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Cate’s Cottage, Canna

Canna was a property of the Church based in Iona from probably the seventh century and was never part of the Lordship of the Isles.  It was sold to a private owner along with other properties of Iona during the reformation, so some time in the sixteenth century.  MacDonald of Clanranald sold the island to Donald MacNeill in 1827 after the failure of a kelp boom, so in the intervening period it must have been owned by these Macdonalds, related to the Lords of the Isles and based at Tiorem Castle.

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Canna

There is a nunnery or monastic enclosure over on that point.  I started off walking towards it but did not get that far.

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Canna

Canna has a long history of settlement going back to neolithic times.  There are many interesting remains including duns (iron age forts), standing stones, mediæval crosses and sheilings (remains of shepherd huts).

There is a fort Dun Rubha Nic Eamoin in the middle foreground or a little out to the right.  My first thought was that the rock formations are natural but maybe they were altered to form part of a dun and the walls built on them have vanished (reused, no doubt).

There was also a “township” in this vicinity, off to the right of the image, with about nine buildings, until a clearance in the mid-nineteenth century.  Little remains of that now.

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Canna

Natural or modified?

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Canna

The columnar basalt makes for interesting rock formations.

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5 comments on “Canna and Sanday

  1. leecleland says:

    Great photos as always but what a fantastic opportunity to go on that wildlife photography cruise with an expert in the field. Thanks for the link to his website. Love the post office it could nearly compete with Australia’s smallest!

    Like

    • Murray Foote says:

      I was very lucky. I was just looking for a trip to St Kilda and the one I tried for was not available. I hoped for more than a day trip and after a lot of web searching found this one which was great.

      Like

  2. jaxlad says:

    Chris Gomersall and I are both regular visitors to the British Birdwatching Fair in August every year, he as an exhibitor and I as a visitor. The Birdfair as it is referred to, or sometimes “The Birdwatcher`s Glastonbury” after the U.K`s biggest music festival, attracts dozens of exhibitors: Travel companies, painters, sculptors, photographers, optics companies, nature celebrities etc.etc and Chris`s stand always stands out amongst the best. I have his (signed) book, “Photographing Wild Birds” and it is always a source of inspiration to me. Not that I`m a bird photographer, I just appreciate the dedication to their art and craft that people like Chris have, and their willingness to share their passion with others.

    Like

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