Islay: The Finlaggan

The historic island settlement of Finlaggan sits in the northeastern corner of Islay in Loch Finlaggan. Finlaggan formerly served as the seat of Clan Donald and the Lords of the Isles. Two of the three islands surrounding Finlaggan, Eilean na Comhairle (Council Island) and Eilean Mòr (large island), filled the role of administrative centers. The Lordship of the Isles continued this arrangement from the 13th to 15th centuries. The lordship passed on ownership to James IV of Scotland upon falling to an opposing king in 1493. Scientists believe the first settlers arrived to the island as early as the 13th century. Recently archaeologists have discovered artifacts suggesting the settlement experienced a significant increase in popularity during the 14th and 15th centuries. The ruins of the council chamber are all that remain on the surface of Finlaggan. The council performed numerous installation ceremonies for new lords there.