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©2020 Gazetteer for Scotland


An island of the Inner Hebrides, Kerrera lies off the coast of the district of Lorn from which it is separated by the Sound of Kerrera. With a geology that comprises basalt, schist and red sandstone rocks, its northern end provides protection to Oban Bay. The island, whose total area is 1214 ha (3,000 acres), rises to 189m (620 feet) at Carn Breugach. Associated with the Clan MacDougall since the 12th century, Kerrera's population has declined to its present level of 34 (2011) from a peak of just under 200 in the early 19th century. In recent years, this level has proved relatively stable; 42 (1961), 27 (1971), 38 (1981), 39 (1991) and 42 (2001). King Alexander II died on Kerrera and King Haakon of Norway mustered his fleet here before the Battle of Largs in 1263. Gylen Castle at the southern end of the island, which was built in 1587 by Duncan MacDougall of Dunollie, was destroyed by General Leslie in 1647 during the Covenanting Wars. Access to the island is by passenger ferry from Gallanach 2 miles (3 km) south of Oban.

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