1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Uist, North and South

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UIST, NORTH AND SOUTH, islands of the outer Hebrides, Inverness-shire, Scotland. North Uist lies S.W. of Harris (Long Island), from which it is separated about 8 m. by the Sound of Harris. The island measures 14 m. in length by 16 m. in greatest width, but the coasts are extremely indented. The highest point is Mt Eaval (1138 ft.). The principal sea-lochs are Loch Maddy and Loch Eport, both on the east. On the east coast the surface is mostly swampy moorland, but on the west there is some fertile soil. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in crofting, fishing and cattle-rearing. The principal village, Loch Maddy, is the centre of a large trade, and is a favourite resort of anglers, being a regular calling station for the steamers from Oban and Portree. The islands belonging to the parish of North Uist comprise — to the south-west Balleshare and Illeray (pop., 383), Kirkibost, Heisker (98), and the Monach group, with a lighthouse on Shillay; to the south, Grimisay (290) and Ronay; to the north-east, Levera; to the north, Boreray (118) and Vallay.

South Uist has a population (1901) of 3541, an extreme length of 22 m. and an extreme width of 8 m. Towards the north-east it becomes mountainous, the highest points being Buail’a Choill (2034), Ben More (1994) and Hecla (1988). The chief sea-lochs are Loch Boisdale, largely frequented by anglers, Loch Eynort and Loch Skiport on the east coast. On the east side the surface is mainly alluvial peat, broken by hills, but on the west there is a belt of productive land. Besides crofting, the inhabitants are engaged in the fisheries and cattle-raising. Steamers from Oban call regularly at the village of Loch Boisdale. The islands attached to the parish of South Uist include, to the south, Eriskay (pop., 3478), where Prince Charles landed on the 2nd of August 1745; to the north-east, Wiay; to the north, Grimisay, Fladda, just off the north-east shore of Benbecula, and Benbecula (pop., 1417), with an area of 40 sq. m., from which there is at low tide a ford to North and South Uist.