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Inner Hebrides

Across Kerrera with castle.jpg
Gylen Castle on Kerrera
Main village: Bailiemore
Location: 56°24’-0"N, 5°31’48"W
Grid reference: NM813281
Area: 3,000 acres
Highest point: Carn Breugach, 620 feet
Population: 42

Kerrera is an island in the Firth of Lorne, Argyllshire, accounted an isle of the Inner Hebrides. It lies in the firth very close to the mainland port town of Oban. In 2005 Kerrera had a population of about 35 people. It is linked to the mainland by passenger ferry sailing from a jetty by the Gallanach Road.

The name of the island is Norse, from Kjarbarey, meaning "Kjarbar's island" or possibly "copse island".

Truly the jewel of the Firth of Lorne, Kerrera may be clopse to the town but is far from the bustle of the busy port lying juts minutes away by ferry.

About the island

The highest point on Kerrera is Carn Breugach at 620 feet (189 m). From these hills are magnificent views over Lornee to the east and over the Isle of Mull and the Hebrides to the west, and along the spectacle of Kerrera itself northwards along the length of the island.

The main industries on the island are farming (sheep and Highland cattle) and tourism. There is a tea room/café at the south end near Gylen Castle.

Gylen Castle was demolished in the early modern period but has lately been restored and is now fully open to the public.

At the north end of the island is the 200-berth Oban Marina, which has a complementary ferry service running to/from North Pier, Oban.


The island is known for Gylen Castle, built in 1582 by the MacDougalls. Kerrera was also the place where King Alexander II of Scotland died in 1249.

The MacDougall stronghold fell to superior force in 1647 during the Wars of the Covenant: Major-General Leslie's Covenanter Army besieged Gylen Castle and all those sheltering there were slain during the attack or after surrendering. The castle fell into ruin.

Most of the island remains in the ownership of the McDougalls of Dunollie, who are descended from the famed Somerled.

In 2010 the four-acre tidal island at the north-east tip of Kerrera, Rubh'a Chruidh, was sold for £426,000 in 2010 to Lanarkshire businessman, David Hamilton.[1]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Kerrera)