Seil Island Scotland ~ Ellenabeich.

Ok, I know, this post has sat in my drafts longer than I anticipated but here is the post I promised on Seil Island.. Enjoy, as I hibernate some more in my world of model making and painting..  


When we arrived it was a Sunday, and late in the afternoon, I gravitated towards this sign which stated that where I was standing was once the sea. But by the early 19th century, the area where I stood had been filled with the waste from the Eillan a Beitch, ( one of the old spellings of Ellenabeich. That is now the flooded Quarry behind the village cottages. The village of Ellenabeich owes its existence to the Easdale Slate.

Click on photo’s to enlarge.

Plaque containing information about Seil Island.


The village lay out of the streets in their present format dates from 1826. The front of the streets having been built upon the reclaimed land from the sea.


The cottages which are built-in slate, were the homes of the quarry workers and their families. And in their heyday back in the 19th Century they were home to more than 400 people.  The whole of Seil Island as per poll in 2001 was said to be 560.

Narrow streets between slate cottages

Cottages turned into refreshment and eating place for visitors

Slate was quarried from the early 17th century, and by the 1800 mining had become a major industry.

The introduction of Steam pumps to remove excess water came into existence around 1807 and made it possible to work in the quarries to the depths of around 80 metres.

The village of Ellenabeich Seil Island

Slate Cottages Seil Island Ellenabeich

Seil Island Hall

Over 130 million roofing slates were produced here, and at that time fetched the price of £1 to £2 per Thousand, depending upon size.  But A great storm in 1881 flooded the quarries and the slate industry quickly declined.

Part of the flooded Quarry

The harbour and slate piers were constructed for slate, at first onto sailing ships and later to steam.

Harbour Wall near Jetty just think each one hand laid.

Look at the slate used in the wall of this jetty

Easdale slate was used to roof the growing cities of Great Britain and more distant cities of the world.  The remains of the wooden steamer pier from where  this crane was removed,  can be seen by the flooded quarry.

The Crane

In 1820 Ellenabeich was a port of call for S.S. Comet, the world’s first commercial steam ship. And passenger steamers continued to call well into the 20th Century.

Seil and Easdale are but two of the Scottish Slate Islands, the other two are Belnahua and Luing, both are visible from Seil Island.

All the Islands have a fascinating history, going back to pre-Christian times.  A lovely video I  found about Seil Island Here.  Showing the crane and cottages.  I hope you enjoyed your trip around this main village on the Island, and learnt a little more about Scottish History.

Oh yes, and remember in my last post I said there was a  9 hole golf course and I walked around it..

Well here it is. 🙂

Golf course on Seil Island

Until Next Time ~Keep Warm And safe! 

56 thoughts on “Seil Island Scotland ~ Ellenabeich.

  1. Maybe it’s all part of my frame of mind these days. Maybe all bound up in being lucky to be alive. Maybe still seeing everything with a clarity, with a freshness, that I am not used to from previous times.

    But! But, there is something about your photographs in your post above that seem so familiar yet seem so very, very distant from Merlin in Southern Oregon.

    Thank you, Sue.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Bill, many thanks for saying so.. And apologies for the neglect as I recently followed you, but I just have to follow the flow, and the flow has led me away from WP for a while..
      Yes the mining towns and villages of coal mines are the same here.. Lots of rows of Terrace houses, built for purpose of the miners way back.. Called Avenues by numbers. The First avenue, Second, and so on
      My own grandfather on my mothers side was a coal miner from the age of 14 and lived in such an avenue he rented until his retirement.
      An industry that was also harsh in its early beginnings.. 🙂
      Thank you Bill 🙂


    • Haha.. Yes, I could even get around those 9 holes in no time myself LOL.. 🙂 haha.. I often wonder myself Mark, just how they did it. given the tools back then also. I am always fascinated with the bridges and Viaducts which span valleys etc that carry trains and how on earth they built them. With blood sweat and tears no doubt.. ❤ 🙂 Thank you Mark.. Hope you are enjoying Summer? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been enjoying it even though It has been the usual dance in 40C+ heat…but hey, I don’t have to pay fore a sauna treatment every day 😀
        Mind you, I keep looking at your photo’s and seeing rain everywhere, I think that too must become a little too much sometimes. But it must be good for your gardens though 😀


        • I think I would wilt and melt in your kind of heat Mark, the rain.. well, we all get a little rusty when we stand in it too long LOL.. Yes rain is good for the gardens up to a point, but there have been years lots of things have rotted in the allotments due to wet summers.. The snow here further North turned to rain then flooded homes.. So not so good.. But we saw Sun today.. even though it was only 8C 🙂 I went for a walk.. 🙂 and it blew the cobwebs 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sue – very interesting and great photos… is that the whole golf course there? 😉 😀
    I’ve never visited Scotland and it isn’t really that far away. One day, I shall nip for a wee visit! 😀


    • Hi Tom, thank you, and yes that’s the whole 9 holes lol.. 🙂 And its a good days drive with frequent stops.. with Lunch and Gretna Green.. 🙂 well worth it if you visit the The National Parks like Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. 🙂


  3. As I mentioned before, my great grandfather’s family was from Scotland but there is little I know of the details of that history. I found this to be very interesting and of something I did not know of. Thank you for sharing Sue. xoxo


  4. Seil Island is captivating with its history Sue, the buildings alone hold many story’s of the lives of long ago, that Sea wall has got to have been done by Master Rock Wallers.
    A great and enjoyable post Sue.


    • Thank you Ian.. Yes I enjoyed this brief visit to the Island, and I am sure those cottages could tell many a story. And I appreciate the skill it took to build the harbour. My Father in his spare time would often do dry stone walling for local farmers.. There is an art to it, and my Brother-in-law even though he is in his late 70’s has not retired and is a dry stone waller in the Derbyshire Dales 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Sue this is Peggy – just stopping by after months off line. Am at my daughter’s house using her internet. Love this post. The pictures are fantastic. Hope you have been well. We are doing ok in Arkansas USA. Trying to dodge the flu, stay well, and stay active. Put a couple of photos on my blog just to say Hello. Miss my blogger friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such an interesting place. So many of these type of places now have tourism taking over as their main livelihood. Thanks for sharing it with us, and I’m sure you will be enjoying time with your crafts keeping warm in front of a roaring fire. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello and welcome and apologies its taken so long to get to reply, I had not seen these latest comments come in as I have not been on this blog for a while. I am delighted my post brought fond memories back to you. And what a beautiful place to live, I adore Scotland and will be travelling back for another visit in May. 🙂 Many thanks for taking the time to visit and I hope to repay the compliment 🙂


  7. So beautiful and quaint places!Lovely your photo series,you did manage to capture the spirit of these remote regions.The slate cottages along the alley are out of this world and of great historical and cultural value.Love to you dearest friend Sue 🙂 ❤ xxx


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