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Hestan Island

Hestan Island
©2019 Gazetteer for Scotland

Hestan Island

A drying island of Dumfries and Galloway, Hestan Island lies at the mouth of Auchencairn Bay, an inlet of the Solway Firth. Accessible on foot across the sand at low tide, the island extends to an area of 13.3 ha (33 acres) and rises to a height of 54m (177 feet). It was the property of the monks of Dundrennan Abbey in the 12th and 13th centuries and Edward Balliol sought seclusion here after he lost power. The ruins of his manor house can still be seen in the north of the island. By the 17th C. Hestan was the property of the Earl of Nithsdale. In the 18th C. the island was a centre for smugglers who stored their wares in the caves in the southwest of the island. It became home to miners seeking tin and copper in the 19th C., but it has had no permanent residents since c.1960 and is now primarily used for the summer grazing of sheep. There is a Stevenson-built lighthouse at the top of the cliffs on its eastern side.

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