Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Scenes from Scarba

I really want to return to Scarba. There are two mysterious places that intrigue. One of them, the three-holes of Gleann na h-Airigh (shieling glen, NG 7087 0432), can be see in this GoogleEarth image.

The three holes
There's been some speculation as to what the three holes are (or were). And if you are interested, you can find a very long thread on the subject (with many tangents) on Andrew Gough's Arcadia Zone. The CANMORE page on the site says that they may be retting ponds, where flax straw was soaked to allow the fibers to be separated. Whatever they were, it would be interesting to see them up close. Unfortunately I was not aware of the holes when I visited Scarba, and I missed seeing them by about a quarter mile. 

The second place I'd like to see is Lurach Bay, due west of Cruach Scarba (NM 680 045). Lurach may mean lovely, and the bay is one of the few, if not the only, safe place to land on the west side of Scarba. It is here that Patrick Gillies, in his Netherlorn and it's Neighborhood (1909), says there are a cluster of six beehive cells, possibly a small monastery. Gillies suggests the site may be another contender for the location of Hinba (along with Colonsay, Jura, and the Garvellachs). See this CANMORE page for more on the beehive cells of Lurach Bay.

A visit to Scarba is described in chapter 6 of book 1. Below are a few photos that did not make it into the book, including a shot of the submarine hide atop Cruach Scarba.

Wartime submarine hide atop Cruach Scarba - I wonder if they ever spotted any subs

Tombstones at Kilmory Chapel
Scarba bothy at the foot of Glen Mhaoil
Landing craft at Scarba's only jetty - Bagh a Bhan-Rubha
Looking across the Gulf of Corryvreckan to Jura
Automatic cattle feeder - Kilmory Lodge in the distance
Kilmory Cave
The view through a misty sky from the summit of Scarba

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