Muck  Argyll


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

Muck, an Argyllshire island in the parish of Small Isles and the district of Mull, 3 miles NNW of the nearest point of the mainland, and 2 7/8 SSW of Eigg. Its length, from ENE to WSW, is 2 ¾ miles; its maximum breadth is 2 miles; and its area is 1586 acres. ...

The surface is undulating throughout, and only one solitary decided hill, near the W end, shoots up from the general level, attaining the height of 600 feet. The shores are in general low and rocky, but at the W end they rise into cliffs of 50 or 60 feet in height. There are several more or less convenient landing-places for fishing-boats, and two small piers, but there is no safe harbour. The body of the island is trap of the predominant varieties of basalt and fine greenstone, but at the bay of Camusmore the protrusion of beds of sandstone and limestone indicates the presence of a lower stratum of secondary rocks. The soil of Muck is fertile when under tillage, and bears a rich crop of grass. The supply of spring-water is ample. But the chief natural want of the island is fuel, peat having to be procured with labour and expense from the neighbouring islands or the mainland. The main industry of the inhabitants is fishing.

Muck was for a long period the property of the Abbey of Iona, and its present name is said toe a corruption of Monk-island. Its Gaelic form is Eilean-nan-Muchd, signifying the ' island of the swine,' and this has been given by Buchanan in the literal translation 'insula porcornm.' An islet called Horse island lies on the N side of Muck, separated from it only by a foul rocky narrow channel, which is left dry at low water in neap tides. Pop. of Muck (1831) 155, (1861) 58, (l871) 53, (1881) 51, of whom 22 were females, and 41 Gaelic-speaking.

Muck through time

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

How to reference this page:

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


Date accessed: 28th May 2022

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