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Islay Heritage

With a population today of approximately 3,200, the Isle of Islay is known the world over for its wildlife and its incomparable whiskies. The Island also boasts a host of archaeological and historic sites dating back to antiquity, as well as a score or more of early Christian and Norse Viking settlements. The 9th century Kildalton Cross provides a visual connection to Iona and to the beginnings of Scottish Christianity.

Islay was once the power-centre of the great medieval kingdom of the Lords of the Isles and, during that period, held sway over the North Sea-roads and vied with English, Irish, Scandinavian, and Scottish kings and chieftains for mastery of the waves. Its later history is tied to the MacDonalds, the Campbell overlordships, the Clearances, and emigration.

Islay and Columba - Islay has a rich history and this is still alive on the Island and can be discovered in excellent resources here in our library. If you are a teacher, student or pupil our resources can support your education projects on a range of topics.
Ionad Chaluim Chille le has presented Islay's heritage to the public through projects and talks on subjects such as Islay Bards Duncan Johnson, Charles MacNiven, Duncan MacNiven and William Livingston.

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