Loch Gruinart

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Loch Gruinart and marsh fringe near the Allt a Ghil inflow
Loch Gruinart (centre) and north-west Islay from the air. Ardnave Point and Nave Island at left centre.

Loch Gruinart is a sea loch on the northern coast of the isle of Islay in Argyllshire. Its name is from the Gaelic Loch Gruinneard, from Old Norse, meaning "shallow fjord")[1]

Land at the head of the loch, Gruinart Flats, is a designated nature reserve owned by the RSPB. It is an important winter roosting site for barnacle geese. Ardnave Point is a coastal promontory near the mouth of the loch on the north-west of Islay.

The Battle of Traigh Ghruinneart was fought on the sands at the south end of the loch on 5 August 1598 between a force from Mull led by Sir Lachlan Mor MacLean of Duart and the Islay men led by Sir James MacDonald, 9th of Dunnyveg, son of Angus MacDonald of Dunyvaig and the Glens, in which Macleans were defeated and all killed including Sir Lachlan save one who survived by swimming to Nave Island.[2]

The pìobaireachd Lament for Sir Lachlan Mor harks back to this battle which was also remembered in Islay folklore.


  1. Iain Mac an Tàilleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. https://web.archive.org/web/20080410210611/http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/vli/language/gaelic/pdfs/placenamesF-J.pdf. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  2. Angus Macdonald and Archibald Macdonald (1900). The Clan Donald, Volume 2. https://books.google.com/books?pg=PA573&lpg=PA573&dq=Traigh+Ghruinneart&sig=xjlLvoj98OmJaej28TUC-KpVCSk&ei=TVQVUN6ILoeJ6AHYtYHAAg&id=vBIXAAAAYAAJ&ots=-ycRDor-H7&output=text. "A fierce battle was fought at a place called Traigh Ghruinneart, at the head of Loch Gruinneart. The Macdonald leader is said to have displayed some strategy at the beginning of the day. ..." 

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Loch Gruinart)
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