A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Vatersay or Watersay, an island of Barra parish, Outer Hebrides, Inverness-shire, immediately S of Barra island, and 11 miles N by W of Barra Head. It is separated from Barra island by Vatersay Sound, studded with islets, and so narrow in one part as to afford passage to only small boats; and from Fladda and Sanderay islands, on the S, it is separated by the Sound of Sanderay, ¾ mile broad. It measures, at extreme points, 3 miles from E to W and 2½ from N to S, but is so deeply indented by the sea as to possess an area of not more than 3.9 square miles, being almost bisected near the middle by two bays on opposite sides, one of them forming an excellent natural harbour. It chiefly consists of two hills and a low sandy intervening isthmus; commands from its hills a comprehensive and picturesque view of the entire southern group of the Outer Hebrides; rests on a basis of gneiss rock; and undergoes constant change of surface, from shiftings, accumulations, and dispersions of drift sand. Pop. (1841) 84, (1861) 32, (1871) 23, (1881) 19.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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