Sanda  Argyll


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Sanda like this:

Sanda, a small island, belonging to the parish of Southend, Argyllshire. It lies at the W side of the entrance of the Firth of Clyde, 1¾ mile SSE of the nearest part of the peninsula of Kintyre, 65/8 miles ESE of the Mull of Kintyre, and 10 S by E of Campbeltown. ...

It has an utmost length and breadth of 1¼ and ¾ mile; it consists of sandstone rock; and has a tumulated surface, with an extreme altitude of 405 feet above sea-level. Moderately high cliffs form part of its shores; and one of these is pierced with a very large natural arch, and forms a very picturesque object. The island is covered-with good grass, and is all disposed in sheepwalk, in the tenancy of one farmer. Two islets, called Sheep Isle and Glunimore, lie off its NE side, and are also clothed in good grass. A small, good, natural harbour lies between it and these islets, and is a place of shelter and rendezvous for the smaller sort of vessels which navigate the Clyde. This harbour was a common station of the Scandinavian fleets during the contests for the possession of Kintyre and the Hebrides. The island, in this connection, was then called Avona Porticosa-a name which it still retains, in the abbreviated form of Aven, among the Highlanders; but it figures, under its more proper name of Sanda, in the more ancient record of Adamnan's life of Columba. There are remains on it of an ancient chapel which was dedicated to Columba, and of a circumjacent cemetery which appears to have long possessed some superstitious celebrity. A dangerous rock, above a mile in circumference, and bearing the name of Paterson's Rock, lies 1 mile E by N of Sanda; and, being always covered by food tide, has endangered many a vessel. A lighthouse, erected on Sanda in 1850 at a cost of £11,931, shows an occulting light in a SW direction, from NW ½ W round to SE by E ½ E, visible at the distance of 17 nautical miles.- Pop. (184l) 11, (1861) 36, (1871) 57, (l881) 14.—Ord. Sur., sh. 12, 1872.

Sanda through time

Sanda is now part of Argyll and Bute district. Click here for graphs and data of how Argyll and Bute has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Sanda itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Sanda in Argyll and Bute | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 28th September 2020

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