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.
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.
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.
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.
The harbour and slate piers were constructed for slate, at first onto sailing ships and later to steam.
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.
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. 🙂
Until Next Time ~Keep Warm And safe!