Pabbay, Barra

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Gaelic: Pabaigh

Outer Hebrides

Far view to Pabbay from Vatersay

Pabbay in the Outer Hebrides

Location: 56°51’0"N, 7°34’12"W
Grid reference: NL605880
Area: 618 acres
Highest point: 561 feet
Population: 0

Pabbay is one of the Barra Isles which lie at the southern tip of the Outer Hebrides and belong to Inverness-shire. The name "Pabbay" comes from the Old Norse Papey, which means "Island of the papar" or monks. At only 618 acres, it never had a large population, and, after all the able-bodied men were killed in a fierce storm while out on a fishing trip on 1 May 1897, it was abandoned in the early twentieth century.

The National Trust for Scotland have owned the island since 2000. With only two sheep left on the island (at July 2007) and few if any other permanent mammalian residents, Pabbay is home in summer to many ground-nesting birds.

The island is conjectured to have been the site of an ancient hermitage, and a Pictish carved stone dates from that period. Remains of an Iron Age settlement can also been seen on Pabbay.

The name of Pabbay is used for one of the three houses of Castlebay Secondary School. The other two are Mingulay and Sandray.

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