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Gaelic: Pabaigh

Inner Hebrides

Post box on Pabay, looking over to Skye

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Location: 57°16’48"N, 5°51’36"W
Grid reference: NG674271
Area: 301.5 acres
Highest point: 92 ft
Population: 0

Pabay is a wee island of Inverness-shire off the coast of Skye. Pabay is an island in the Inner Sound of Skye, north of Broadford. It lies south of Longay and east of the larger Scalpay.[1]

The island's name is form the Norse Papey, which means "Island of the papar (priests). The same name in the form Pabbay is found in three islands in the Outer Hebrides, all of the same derivation.

The island is formed of fossil-containing limestone, with some micaceous shale, named Pabba Shale.[2] It forms a flat plateau with cliffs on the North and East shores. The surrounding low reefs encroach on its shores and double the area at low water.[2]


Dean Monro in 1549 gave the following description:
At the shore of Skye foresaid, lies an isle called Pabay, near one mile in length, full of woods, good for fishing, and a main shelter for thieves and cut-throats, it pertains to Mackinnon.[3]

Pabay was inhabited in the 19th century.[4] The island has a single house and is only accessible by boat or helicopter.[2]

It issues its own postage stamps.[1]


Pabay's flora consists of heath, dry grassland, herb marsh, salt marsh, woodland remnants and 75 acres of newly planted trees.[2]


"Cricket on Pabay" is a painting by Elizabeth Edenborough.[5]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Pabay)


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Overview for Pabay". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Isle of Pabay - History". Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  3. Monro, Donald (High Dean of the Isles), Description of the Western Isles of Scotland (William Auld, Edinburgh, 1774)
  4. A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland: Pabay
  5. "Cricket on Pabay" Retrieved 31 July 2010.