1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mull (island)

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21735161911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 18 — Mull (island)

MULL, the largest island of the Inner Hebrides, Argyllshire, Scotland. Pop. (1901), 4334. It is bounded on the W. and S. by the Atlantic, on the N. and N.E. by the Sound of Mull, and on the E. and S.E. by the Firth of Lorne. It has an area of about 367 sq. m., its greatest length being 27 m. and its greatest breadth 20 m. The coast is much indented, the principal sea-lochs being Loch Mingary, Loch Cuan, Loch Tua, Loch-na-Keal, Loch Scridain, Loch Buy, Loch Spelve and Loch Don. Among several freshwater lakes Loch Frisa, Loch Ba and Loch Uisg are the chief. The principal mountains are Ben More (3185 ft.), Ben Buy (2354 ft.) and Ben Creach (2289 ft.). In the basaltic cliffs near Carsaig are numerous arches and caverns. The prevailing rocks are igneous (generally basaltic, gabbro in the mountains in the south-east, granite in the Ross). The valleys are filled up with lava flows and volcanic ashes of Miocene age. At a few places there are gneissose rocks, chalk, sandstone lias and quartz porphyry. Sheep and cattle are raised, and barley, oats and potatoes grown. Owing to the damp climate the island is better suited for grazing than for cultivation. Granite and freestone are quarried. Ben More deer forest and the excellent fishing and shooting attract many sportsmen. There are several ancient castles, the principal being those of Duart and Aros. Close to the former is a lighthouse erected in memory of William Black. the novelist (d. 1898). About midway between Mull and Lismore is the Lady Rock, visible at low water, on which, in 1523, Lachlan Maclean of Duart exposed his wife, a daughter of the second earl of Argyll, expecting that she would be drowned by the flowing tide. She was, however, saved by her clansfolk and her husband was afterwards slain by her brother. Joanna Baillie (1762–1851) made the incident the leading theme of her drama of The Family Legend. Tobermory (“the Well of Mary,” so called from a spring of local celebrity) is the only town (pop. 1175). It is placed on a pretty bay, the houses standing on tree-clad heights. It was founded in 1788 as a station for fishing-boats, and the herring fishery is still of some consequence. It has regular communication by steamer with Stornoway, Oban and Glasgow. Off the north-western shore of Mull, separated by a narrow strait, lies the isle of Ulva, 43/4 m. long and 21/2 m. broad, whose inhabitants are mostly engaged in fishing and kelp-gathering. Close to Ulva, and practically one with it at low tide, is the isle of Gometra, about 11/2 m. long and 2 m. broad, the people of which are chiefly occupied with fishing. Little Colonsay lies about 2 m. south of Ulva. Farther west is the small group of the Treshnish Isles.