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Gunna (Gaelic: Gunnaigh) is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.

Gunna
Gaelic nameGunnaigh
Norse nameGunni-øy
Meaning of name"Gunni's island"
Location
Gunna is located in Argyll and Bute
Gunna
Gunna
Gunna shown within Argyll and Bute
OS grid referenceNM100513
Coordinates56°34′N 6°43′W / 56.56°N 6.72°W / 56.56; -6.72
Physical geography
Island groupMull
Area69 hectares (0.27 sq mi)
Area rank176 [1]
Highest elevation35 metres (115 ft)
Administration
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
CountryScotland
Council areaArgyll and Bute
Demographics
Population0
Lymphad3.svg
References[2][3][4]

Contents

Geography and geologyEdit

Gunna lies between Coll and Tiree, closer to Coll. It is 69 hectares (0.27 sq mi) in area, 35 metres (115 ft) at its highest point, and currently uninhabited. Nowhere is it wider than 500 metres (550 yd).

It is surrounded by various smaller islands including Eilean Frachlan (just off the north coast), Eilean nan Gamhna off the south coast, Soy Gunna to the north east, and Eilean Bhoramull, which is nearer Coll. It is surrounded by many rocks, especially in Gunna Sound (Scottish Gaelic: Am Bun Dubh[5]), between it and Tiree.

According to Haswell-Smith, the island has a: "bedrock of paragneiss schist with a light sandy soil. Metasediments in the west grade into undifferentiated gneiss in the east".[3]

Etymology and historyEdit

"Gunni" is a Norse forename, and Haswell-Smith suggests that Gunni-øy means "island of Gunni the Dane" (although it is not recorded for which Gunni the island was named) or conceivably that the modern name is from Eilean nan Gamhna, Gaelic for "island of the stirks". Mac an Tàilleir suggests that the Norse means "Gunnar's island".[6]

It was possibly an anchorite/culdee's island at some point - beside the old well, there is Port na Cille, which means Port of the Monk's Cell. Uamh Mòr, (big cave) on the north coast, could well be where the hermit sheltered.

According to Mac an Tàilleir Gunna is mentioned in the lines of a song, "Farewell beyond Gunna to Mull of the great mountains".[6]

WildlifeEdit

Gunna supports a wide range of sea birds, as well as geese, and shelducks. Grey seals also breed here.

It is currently used for grazing from Coll.[3]

Gunna in fictionEdit

Sandy Duncanson, the villain of Neil Munro's novel The New Road, comes from here, one chapter is titled "The Man from Gunna". It is suggested that this symbolises his ambiguous nature, since Tiree was "one of Mac Cailean Mór's loyal islands", and Coll was wild country.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands over 20 ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
  2. ^ National Records of Scotland (15 August 2013) (pdf) Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland - Release 1C (Part Two). "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland’s inhabited islands". Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. pp. 115–16. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey. OS Maps Online (Map). 1:25,000. Leisure.
  5. ^ "Rannsaich/translation search". UHI. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
  6. ^ a b Mac an Tàilleir, Iain (2003) Ainmean-àite/Placenames. (pdf) Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 26 August 2012.

External linksEdit