Friday, 30 March 2012

Take an 'Inch'

Inchmarnock takes its name from St Marnoc, a follower of St Columba who established a monastic settlement on the island. The excavation, in 1961, of a Bronze Age cist or stone-built coffin-like box revealed a skeleton buried in typically crouched position, along with a lignite necklace believed to be 3,000 years old. The find was dubbed 'The Princess of the Inch'. 

The collar together with other relics can now be be seen at the Natural History Museum in Rothesay on Bute. This is as well for the island was once noted as a notorious haunt of smugglers, relishing their treasures in a place that benefits from the warmth of the Gulf Stream.

Inchmarnock certainly enjoys a surprisingly mild climate. In the past it allowed barley as well as both seed- and early-potatoes to be grown. It all sounds rather exotic for Marnoc and his monks, who in turn sound like a '70s pop group.

Scottish Islands Explorer - relishing treasures, too   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Super little island. I cadged a lift over in 2004 and the island factor showed me the skeleton of the Queen of the Inch, visible under a boulder in the middle of a field. There's a strange story about it being in a chamber, in a wall, behind a glass viewing panel - but it never was. Since my visit it has been re-analysed using modern methods and, finally, permanently re-interred. Richard Clubley