Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654

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Name: Blaeu, Joan, 1596-1673  
Title: Mvla  
Pagination: 123
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Translation of text:

MULL (Section Note)

Beyond Colonsay to the north lies Mull, twelve miles distant from Islay. This island is twenty four miles long, and the same wide, rough certainly but not infertile in respect of crops. It has many woods, and great herds of deer, and a sufficiently safe harbour. Opposite Iona it has two good salmon rivers; other smaller ones also are not totally unproductive; likewise two lochs, and islands on each, and castles on them. The sea breaking in makes four gulfs, all abundant in herring.

To the south west is situated Columbaria, or Eilean Chalmain; south east of it is Erraid; each is suited to cattle and crops and fishing. Two miles from them is Iona, the island of St Columba, two miles long and more than one wide, productive of everything which normally grows in that part of the world, and well known for old (for that kind) monuments; but made more famous by St Columba's severe discipline and sanctity. There were two monasteries on it, one of monks and one of nuns: one meeting-place, or (as they now say) parish church, and many chapels thanks to the generosity of the Kings of the Scots and the Lords of the Isles. In the old monastery of St Columba the Bishops of the Isles established their seat, when their old home, which was in the Isle of Man, was captured by the English. There still remains among the old ruins the sepulchre, or common burial-place of all the noble families who lived in the Western Isles. Among the others three mounds stand out, short distances apart, with three little houses set on them facing east. On the western part of each an inscribed stone indicates whose the mounds are. The middle one has the title, MOUND OF THE KINGS OF SCOTLAND. For the tradition is that forty-eight Kings of the Scots have been inhumated there. On the right is inscribed the title, MOUND OF THE KINGS OF IRELAND. For four Kings of Ireland are said to have been interred there. The one on the left is inscribed, MOUND OF THE KINGS OF NORWAY. For the report is that eight Kings of this race have been buried there. Apart in the rest of the cemetery the distinguished families of the Isles have their burial-places. Around it, close by, six small islands, yet not infertile, were donated by the old Kings and Lords of the Isles to Columba's Monastery. Soa has pasture suited to sheep, yet there is greater yield from the nesting of sea-birds and especially from their eggs. Closest is Eilean nam Ban, and then Eilean Murudhain [?], soon Eilean Rering [?]. After it Inchkenneth, half a mile from Mull, has its own parish; but the parishioners for the most part live on Mull. The shores abound in rabbits. A mile from this is Eorsa. All these belong to the monks of Columba's Monastery.Two miles from Eorsa is Ulva, five miles long, for its size fruitful in crops and pastures. It has a convenient anchorage for long ships. On its southern side is Little Colonsay: it has a not infertile field and a hazel wood. About a third of a mile from this is situated Gometra, two miles long, a mile wide, running from south to north. Then four miles from Gometra to the south is Staffa, each with a harbour. Four miles back from this to the north west are the two called Cairn na Burgh, large and small, so walled in by sheer cliffs and a racing tide that they are completely impregnable by the natural defences aided by industry. A mile distant from these is an island whose earth is almost all black from trees rotted by age and packed together by moss. They dry blocks of it to use for fire; hence the island is called Eilean na Monich; for so they call that kind of earth, which in English is Moss. Then Lunga, two miles in length; less than half is Bac Mor. Six miles back from this to the west is Tiree, eight miles long, three wide, of all the islands by far the best supplied with all necessities of life. For it abounds in herds and crops, fishing and production of sea-birds. On it is a fresh-water loch, and in that an old castle; it also has a harbour not unsuited for long ships. Two miles from here is Gunna, and the same distance from Gunna is Coll, twelve miles long, two wide, outstandingly fertile. Not far from here is Calve Island, almost all covered with trees. Afterwards two islands named Eileanan Glasa, large and small. Likewise the same number with the same names on the opposite promontory of Mull. Two islands lie not far from it named Glas Eileanan, that is blue. Then Eilean Rubha an Ridire, that is, high island of the horseman. Then Eilean a'Mhadaidh, or island of wolves. After that Eilean Mor, Great island.

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