Coll: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Coll

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

OS grid reference NM207584
Gaelic name About this sound Cola
Pronunciation [kʰɔlˠ̪ə]
Meaning of name Hazel
Area and summit
Area 7,685 hectares (29.7 sq mi)[1]
Area rank 18
Highest elevation Ben Hogh 104 metres (341 ft)[1]
Population (2001) 164
Population rank 35 out of 97
Main settlement Arinagour[1]
Island group Mull
Local Authority Argyll and Bute
Flag of Scotland.svg Lymphad3.svg
References [2][1][3]
If shown, area and population ranks are for all Scottish islands and all inhabited Scottish islands respectively.
View of Arinagour

Coll (Scottish Gaelic: Cola[4]) is a small island, west of Mull in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Coll is known for its sandy beaches, which rise to form large sand dunes, for its corncrakes, and for Breachacha Castle.


Geography and geology

Coll is about 13 miles (20.9 km) long by 3 miles (4.8 km) wide and has a population of fewer than 200. Coll's sandy beaches rise to form large sand dunes. The highest point on Coll is Ben Hogh in the south west of the island which rises to a height of 341 feet (104 m).


  • Acha (Scottish Gaelic: An t-Achadh).[5] A crofting settlement which is located 3 miles (4.8 km) south-west of Arinagour.[6]
  • Arileod (Scottish Gaelic: Àirigh Leòid).[5] Located on the west coast; 4 miles (6.4 km) south-west of Arinagour.[7]
  • Arinagour (Scottish Gaelic: Àirigh nan Gobhar).[5] The main settlement on the island; located at the head of Loch Eatharna, on the east coast.[8]
  • Arnabost (Scottish Gaelic: Àrnabost).[5] Located 2 miles (3.2 km) miles north-west of Arinagour; it is the junction for travel between Sorisdale, Clabhach and Arinagour.[9]
  • Ballyhaugh (Scottish Gaelic: Baile Hogh).[5] Located on the northern part of Hough Bay; 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Arinagour.[10]
  • Bousd (Scottish Gaelic: Babhsta).[5] Located 4 miles (6.4 km) north-east of Arinagour.[11]
  • Clabhach (Scottish Gaelic: A' Chlabaich).[12] Located on the north-west coast; 3 miles (4.8 km) north-west of Arinagour.[13]
  • Crossapol (Scottish Gaelic: Crosabol).[12] Located on the south-west coast.[14]
  • Totronald (Scottish Gaelic: Tobhta Raghnaill). Located on the west coast; 4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of Arinagour.[15]
  • Uig (Scottish Gaelic: Ùig).[12] Located 0.5 miles (0.80 km) north-east of the head of Loch Breachacha.[16]


There are only two main roads on Coll. The main hub of the island is the island's largest settlement—Arinagour. About 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Arinagour is the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry terminal.[17] The ferry travels from Oban to Coll to Tiree; and a return trip from Tiree, to Coll, to Oban.[18][18]

The airport on the island (IATA: COL) is located between Uig and Arileod.[8][17] Skyscanner states that the main airline flying into the airport is Highland Airways, which is based in Inverness.[19]


Coll was home to a branch of the Clan Maclean for 500 years, not all of which were peaceful. In 1590 the Macleans of Duart invaded their cousins on Coll with the intention of taking the island for themselves. A battle was fought at Breachacha Castle where the Coll clan overwhelmed the Duarts, chopped off their heads and threw them in the stream which is still known as "the stream of the heads". The Macleans of Coll retained their baronial fief and Castle of Breachacha until 1848 when Alexander Maclean of Coll emigrated to Natal, South Africa where he died unmarried.

Coll, like other Hebridean islands, has several crannógs (artificial islands) located in some of its lochs. One such crannog is Dun Anlaimh which is thought to date to at least the later Middle Ages. Local tradition states that the dun was the fortress of a Norse chieftain who was defeated in battle by the Macleans.

Breachacha Castle on the south coast dates from the 15th century. It was restored by the Project Trust,[20] a gap year organisation that sends school leavers abroad for a year's voluntary work. They send 17-19 year olds on a whole year abroad, and have extensive selection and training weeks.[21] An 18th century mansion house stands nearby.

The population of Coll was much higher in the past. In the late 1700s there were about 1,000 people supported by agriculture and fishing.[1] During the Highland Clearances of the 1830s and 1840s, half the population left, many of them moving to Australia, Canada or South Africa.

Traigh Feall (Feall Beach), Isle of Coll
Maclean of Duart  · Maclean of Coll  · Maclean of Ardgour
Ardgour  · Coll  ·
Duart Castle Glensanda Castle
Beath  · Beaton  · Black · Garvie  · Lean  · MacBeath  · MacBheath  · MacBeth  · MacEachan  · Macilduy  · MacLaine  · McLean  · MacLergain  · Maclergan  · MacRankin  · MacVeagh  · MacVey · Rankin

Project Trust

Project Trust, founded by Nicholas Maclean-Bristol and based on the island, has sent over 6,000 volunteers overseas, many of them gap year students. In 2008 this organisation, which brings over £370,000 per annum to Coll's economy, celebrated its 40th anniversary.[22][23]


There is an extensive RSPB reserve towards the west end of the island.[24] One of the main attractions is the rare corncrake. Traditional local farming practices have helped this once common British bird survive.

Coll in fiction

Mairi Hedderwick, the illustrator and author, lives on Coll and has used the island as the setting for her Katie Morag series of children's books. In the books, Coll is known by the fictional name of the Isle of Struay.[25]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. pp. 118-122. ISBN 1841954543.  
  2. ^ General Register Office for Scotland (28 November 2003) Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands. Retrieved 9 July 2007.
  3. ^ Ordnance Survey. Get-a-map [map].
  4. ^ Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2003) Placenames. (pdf) Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 08 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Mac an Tailleir, Iain (2003). "Placenames A-B" (pdf). Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  6. ^ "Acha". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  7. ^ "Arileod". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  8. ^ a b "Arinagour". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  9. ^ "Arnabost". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  10. ^ "Ballyhaugh". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  11. ^ "Bousd". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  12. ^ a b c Mac an Tailleir, Iain (2003). "Placenames C-E" (pdf). Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  13. ^ "Clabhach". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  14. ^ "Totronald". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  15. ^ "Totronald". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  16. ^ "Uig". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  17. ^ a b "Isle of Coll Tourist Guide Inner Hebrides Scottish Islands". Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  18. ^ a b "Coll: Getting there/around". Caledonian MacBrayne. Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  19. ^ "Coll Island airport". Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  20. ^ "Coll". Retrieved 13 December 2009.  
  21. ^ "Project Trust". Retrieved 2008-01-06.  
  22. ^ Kerr, Moira (17 March 2008) "Charity plays vital role in survival of remote island". Aberdeen. Press and Journal.
  23. ^ "About Project Trust" Project Trust. Retrieved 5 April 2008.
  24. ^ "Guide to Coll". RSBP. Retrieved 2008-01-06.  
  25. ^ "Random House - Mairi Hedderwick". Retrieved 2008-01-06.  

External links

Coordinates: 56°38′00″N 6°33′26″W / 56.6333333°N 6.55722°W / 56.6333333; -6.55722

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

COLL, an island of the Inner Hebrides, Argyllshire, Scotland. Pop. (1901) 432. It is situated about 7 m. west of Caliach Point in Mull, and measures 12 m. from N.E. to S.W., with a breadth varying from 4 m. to 4 m. It is composed of gneiss, is generally rather flat, save in the west where Ben Hogh reaches a height of 339 ft., and has several lakes. The pasturage is good and the soil fairly fertile. Much dairy produce is exported, besides sheep and cattle. The antiquities include stone circles, duns, the ruins of Breachacha Castle, once a fortress of the Lords of the Isles. A steamer from Oban calls regularly at Arinagour.

<< Alexandre Colin

Hans Collaert >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun




  1. A medieval English short form of the male given name Nicholas; very rare today.

Derived terms

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address