South Ascrib

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South Ascrib


South Ascrib.jpg
View of South Ascrib from Skye
Location: 57°34’48"N, 6°30’40"W
Grid reference: NG305645
Area: c. 75 acres
Highest point: 135 ft[1]

South Ascrib is an island in Loch Snizort between the Waternish and Trotternish peninsulas on the northern coasts of the island of Skye in Inverness-shire.

South Ascrib is about 75 acres in extent at low tide and the maximum height is 135 ft above sea level. At high tide the island becomes several smaller portions cut off from one another, the northern section of which is Eilean Garave.[1] At such times South Ascrib is about 60 acres in size. The skerry of Scalp Rock lies just west of South Ascrib. Other islands in the group are Eilean Creagach, Eilean Iosal, Sgeir à Chapuill and Sgeir à Chuin.

In 1703 Martin Martin wrote: "About 5 leagues to the south-west from Tulm lies the island Ascrib, which is divided into several parts by the sea; it is about two miles in compass, and affords very good pasturage; all kinds of fish abound in the neighbouring sea. On the south-west side of the isle Ascrib, at the distance of two leagues, lie the two small isles of Timan, directly in the mouth of Loch Arnizort; they are only fit for pasturage."[2] There are indications of an underground monk's cell on the island dating from the 18th century.[3]

South Ascrib is part of a Special Area of Conservation owing to the significant breeding colonies of the common seal, with 35% of Skye's breeding population resident in the area. These 600 seals make up 1% of the EU population.[4] Puffin also breed in burrows on the Ascribs.[5]

In 1985 the Ascribs were purchased by Baron Palumbo who announced his intention to build an underground house on South Ascrib. However, in the end a structure of traditional design was constructed. The islands were offered for sale again in 1996.[3]


("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about South Ascrib)
  1. 1.0 1.1 "Get-a-Map". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  2. Martin, Martin (1703) "A Voyage to St Kilda" in A Description of The Western Islands of Scotland, Appin Regiment/Appin Historical Society. Retrieved 3 March 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. pp. 168. ISBN 1841954543. 
  4. "Ascrib, Isay and Dunvegan Special Area of Conservation" (30 March 2006) (pdf) SNH. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
  5. "Birds and Bird Watching on the Isle of Skye" Retrieved 5 December 2009.