Isle of Luing


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Luing (Gaelic: An t-Eilean Luinn) is one of the Slate Islands, Firth of Lorn, in the west of Argyll in Scotland, about 16 miles south of Oban. It has a population of around 200 people, mostly living in Cullipool, Toberonochy (Tobar Dhonnchaidh), and Ardlarach. A regular ferry service crosses the 200 m wide Cuan Sound which separates Luing from the neighbouring island of Seil, which is in turn connected by bridge to the mainland.

The main industries on Luing are tourism, lobster fishing and beef farming, although slate quarrying was important until 1965, with quarries at Toberonochy, Cullipool, and a smaller one at Port Mary. Slate from Luing was used in the construction of the University of Glasgow and re-roofing of Iona Abbey.

For such a small island, Luing has produced numerous mod gold medallists: Nan MacInnes (1926, in Oban), Sandy Brown (1938, in Glasgow) and Hughie MacQueen (1985, in Lochaber).

The graveyard at the ruined church of Kilchattan documents the lives of past islanders, with quarriers, sailors and crofters side by side. Gravestones of note include those of Covenanter Alexander Campbell.

Luing cattle were first developed here, as a commercial beef breed hardy enough to prosper under adverse weather. They are a breed of red beef cattle, produced by the Cadzow family in 1947 from a cross between Beef Shorthorn and Highland cattle.

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