Local View of
Islands of the Loch: INCHLONAIG
Inchlonaig is the most northern of the loch's larger islands and is close to the eastern shore but also easily accessible from the village of Luss which its western side faces.
It is an island with remarkable history, most notably its link with King Robert the Bruce. The island is populated with many Yew trees which is an incredible thing in Scotland as they are not that abundant in this country. Indeed the collection of Yew trees on this island are said to be the densest in all of Scotland. There are some 800 of them
They are here because King Robert is said to have ordered Yews planted in the early 14th Century to provide the wood for his band of archers as well as to similarly arm the local population's fighting men.
Many of the trees that exist today were largely planted by the Colquhouns (local landowners) in early Victorian times following a fire on the island. Iron guards surround the trees to this day, erected to protect the trees from goats.
The village and glen of Luss seen from the southern shore of Inchlonaig
island is a popular place for fishermen on loch to call in and 'have
break', with many fine little bays and you will often see the
small fishing boats in any one of them. Over a hundred years
ago however, you would have seen a far more permanent and suprising
camp set up...
Back in the 1890's English clog makers set up camp on the island, drawn there by another tree, the alder (and possibly birch too), from which they fashioned the soles of the footwear. Quite how long they stayed is not known, but they definately used the island as their base for a number of years every summer, cutting and preparing the wood for later use.
There is one house on the island, a stone cottage, that is now used as a holiday home. More permanent residents include the wild fallow deer, descendants of those introduced there when the Colquhouns managed the island as a deer park until a few years after Sir James Colquhoun's untimely death, when he drowned in the loch along with four ghillies when their boat sank.
This tragedy occured on 18th December 1873. Their boat was heading for the laird's house at Rossdhu with venison from Inchlonaig, intended as Christmas fayre for his tenants, family and friends. Off the island named Inchtavannach a sudden swell (the loch is famous for them) swamped the heavily loaded boat and down she went, taking the lives of all five souls with her. It would appear then that this spelled the end of deer hunting on the island too.
Yew trees on the island, note the guards to protect them
|Return to Main Page|
|Text and Photos Copyright: B.Biddulph 2010 - Reproduction forbidden without permission from copyright owner|