Saturday, April 26, 2014

Inchgalbraith - Loch Lomond

Little Inchgalbreith island in Loch Lomond is very interesting. The island is only about 100 feet in diameter, and the ruin of a 16th century castle occupies most of the available space. A tangle of trees have grown throughout the tower, and a thick cloak of ivy covers many of the walls.

The castle was one of the power bases of the Galbraiths (Clann a' Bhreatannich - the Clan Briton). One might wonder why they'd build such a large castle on so tiny an island, but the castle was built when the level of the loch was lower. There is some thought that several of the islands in the loch were once linked together, and from a boat afloat on the loch (say that ten times in a row) you can see the traces of what may have been a causeway that linked Inchgalbraith to Inchconnachan.

Ospreys have nested on Inchgalbraith over the years, and Boswell and Johnson were taken to look at them when they visited Loch Lomond during their Scottish tour. In the 1800s the ospreys were deemed to be a danger to the game fishing, and were shot during a so-called 'vermin crusade'. But the ospreys have returned to Loch Lomond, and I was fortunate to have seen one last year. Below are a few photos of Inchgalbraith from a visit in 2004.

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