Loch Lomond Islands

Article Index

Inchcailloch graveyardThe islands of Loch Lomond are one of its enduring qualities and yet little in known about their history. Enthusiasm for their cultural significance was the driving force behind Friends of Loch Lomond commissioning an archaeological survey of the islands in Loch Lomond during 1995-1998. The objectives of the survey were first to identify the archaeological sites and remains on the islands, secondly to assess their condition and identify any threats to their long term survival and thirdly to stimulate the maintenance and protection of the major sites by the landowners, authorities and national conservation bodies.

The survey added a great deal to our current knowledge of the islands, raising number of archaeological sites known on the islands from 12 to 380. The survey also identified considerable threats to the long term survival of a number of the archaeological sites – mostly water erosion and vegetation root damage – and made management recommendations for the archaeological sites to mitigate and alleviate these threats.
Loch Lomond islands from Conic HillIn 2007 a follow-up survey was conducted of ten of the archaeological sites considered most at risk in 1995-98 to determine their present condition and whether they have deteriorated or if mitigation measures to preserve the archaeological sites has been undertaken. The selected sites were not surveyed in detail but their present condition compared to their original 1995-98 survey records. New information has been added to the original descriptions. A new digital photographic record made at all sites visited. New sketch plans were made of Ellan Vhow, Inchgalbraith and Inchmurrin castles.

Loch Lomond Islands survey

The 2007 survey revealed serious deterioration of the selected sites over the previous decade and recommendations were made as to how this important sites can be restored. The cost of restoration is significant and beyond the resources of the Friends, but we are exploring ways of how this important work can be continued.


The following publications on the 1995-8 and 2007 surveys are available:
The 1995-1998 Survey
The reports produced as a result of the Friends of Loch Lomond Loch Lomond Islands Survey are as follows:
  • Loch Lomond Islands Survey: An Archaeological Assessment. Report on Phase 1 and Management  Recommendations. September 1995.
  • Loch Lomond Islands Survey: An Archaeological Assessment. Report on Phase 2 and Management Recommendations. April 1997.
  • Loch Lomond Islands Survey: An Archaeological Assessment. Report on Phase 3 The Crannog Survey.(with Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology) February 1998.
Loch Lomond Islands survey
  • Loch Lomond Islands Survey: Background Information to supplement the archaeological assessment. September 1995.
  • Loch Lomond Islands Survey: An Archaeological Assessment - Management Recommendations. April 1997. 
All of the reports were written and produced by Fiona Baker of Firat Archaeological Services. Unbound copies of individual reports are available. Price: £30 each
  • The Islands of Loch Lomond – Footprints from the Past A summary report of the findings of the 1995-1998 survey. Copies available. Price: £5
The 2007 Survey
  • The Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Islands Survey – 2007 Summary Report of the Archaeological Field Survey and Re-appraisal of Sites and Castles A summary report in pdf format is available to download. Click here. << ADD ISLAND PDF>>
  • The Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Islands Survey – 2007. A copy of the full report is available on CD. Price: £30
To purchase any of the above send a cheque made payable to ‘Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs’ to Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, 63 West Princes Street, Helensburgh, G84 8BN. Prices include postage.