Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A' Chuli - Cuil-ri-Brennan - An Unwritten isle

This photo was taken from the north tip of Eileach a Naoimh of the Garvellach Isles. In the foreground, just beyond the three skerries, cloud shadow can be seen darkening the island of A' Chuli; also known as Cuil-ri-Brennan - St Brendan's retreat. Just beyond it rises the larger island of Garbh Eilean. 

Eileach a Naoimh, with its monastic ruins, sees lots of visitors. But few set foot on A' Chuli or Garbh Eilean. I described a visit to Garbh Eilean in Book 1, chapter 9, and although I have visited A' Chuli, I never wrote about it.

I wanted to go there because, in a book that I've forgotten the title of, I'd read there was once a chapel on the island, and that St Brendan used it for a retreat. And so I set foot on the island to see for myself if there were any ruins. It didn't take long to scour every inch of the small rocky islet, and no ruins were seen. That said, the thick grass, heather, and bracken hid much of the surface, so I could have missed something.    

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