Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Last Evacuation

The last of the Scottish islands to be evacuated was Eilean nan Roan, a 'mainland' island off the north coast of Sutherland, close to Skerry. Nine residents left 75 years ago and since 1938 it has been home to no one, at least during the winter months. The decline came quickly - for in 1881 there were 73 inhabitants, but the number had declined to 30 in 1931.So the population halved in 50 years and then diminished by two-thirds in the next eight. From certain angles, such as the camera position above, it looks like two islands joined.

Scottish Islands Explorer - readership is climbing steadily


David & Margaret Gartside said...

Thought we knew nearly all of the isles, but here you tell us of new one (to us), ripe for exploration in due course. Thanks, John

Richard Evans said...

It was known as the "Happy Island". Donald Mackay was the last to leave in 1938 who moved to Skerray 2 miles across the water from where he was born- he said in 1974 when interviewed by Tom Weir for an article in Country Life magazine-"you could always get a good return from the croft. I don't think there's a better place for growing cabbages, with the fishing we were practically self supporting. With the cows we had plenty of milk and butter and crowdie. The only thing we brought in was flour. There was plenty of peat".