1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Slate Islands

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23034511911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 25 — Slate Islands

SLATE ISLANDS, a group belonging to the parish of Kilbrandon and Kilchattan off the coast of Lome, Argyllshire, Scotland. They comprise Seil, Easdale, Torsay, Luing and Shuna, and owe their name to the fact that they are composed mainly of metamorphic rocks, Easdale, Torsay and Luing being entirely slate, Seil mostly slate with some porphyrite in the north, and Shuna gneissose. The quarries provide occupation for most of the inhabitants. The steamers to and from Oban usually call at Luing and Easdale. Seil (pop. 424), the most northerly, is connected with the mainland by means of Clachan bridge on its north-east side, near Rue. It measures 4 m. N. and S. by 2 m. E. and W. at its widest, and contains Kilbrandon church. Off a promontory on its west coast, divided only by a narrow strait, is the comparatively flat island of Easdale (pop. 284), measuring roughly ½ m. each way. The quarries have been worked since 1630 and yield some eight million slates every year. The experiment of leasing them to the workers on co-operative lines has been tried unsuccessfully. Luing (pop. 620) is situated S. of Seil, is 6 m. long and 1½ m. broad. Torsay (pop. 7), 1 m. long by ½ m. broad, lies off its north-east, and Shuna (pop. 8), 2½ m. long by 1⅕ m. broad, off its south-east, shore.