Tag Archives: highland clearances

The Isle of Mull’s hidden history

I’m not a prolific reader these days. Having two small kids tends to drain away the time I once devoted to piling through novels. When I did read though, it tended to be factual tomes rather than fiction. I’ve always had a preference for books on history or science.

When on holiday on Mull you will pass many ancient archaeological sites which this website helps you to discover.Fortunately we’re on holiday at the moment, and it’s on these rare occasions that I make the effort to catch up on some reading. That brought me to one of my favourite authors, Bill Bryson, and his new book “At Home – a short history of private life“. In his usual style, he starts off focusing on a very specific topic, in this case the history of the home, but somehow manages to range all over the place, incorporating lots of interesting snippets of historical information.

In the introduction he mentions how his Norfolk home is next to a church that appears to have sunk some three feet into the ground. In reality the ground has risen due to the thousands of people buried there over the last 1,000 years. It’s the sort of historical tidbit that catches your imagination and also brought me to consider some of the many hidden archaeological treasures dotted around the Isle of Mull’s countryside.

To the casual observer on a holiday to Mull, it wouldn’t be immediately obvious that the island is covered in archaeological sites from pre-history right up to the modern age and the tragedy of the highland clearances. You can read a quick synopsis on Mull’s history here.

But even if you’re not trained in the field, there are some excellent resources that can make a visit to Mull a much more illuminating experience… if it’s your kind thing of course.

One website I recently happened upon is The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map. Now this website isn’t about to win any awards for being pretty on the eye, but what it does do is deliver a wealth of geographical information about ancient sites all over the UK, Europe and the wider world. I came across it when someone tweeted about visiting a megalith not far from Salen at the centre of Mull.

It was on this website that I discovered a detailed interactive map which pinpoints a wealth of interesting historical sites all over the Isle of Mull. The map embedded in the website uses Yahoo Maps, but I prefer the Google Maps version.

Usefully, you can also extract the latitude and longitude information, thus making it a whole lot easier to pinpoint sites which would otherwise be masked by time and plant growth.

So, whether you want to holiday on Mull for the wildlife, beaches, or scenery, you can now add a little bit more to the history of the island and the peoples who once lived there, thanks to this handy website.

Ralph
Beach House Self-Catering, Isle of Mull
Twitter: mullescape