Jim Michie


the western seaboard: an illustrated architectural guide, mary miers, 2008

Location: Road to the Isles and Knoydart

Loch Shiel's Green Isle

On Loch Shiel, between Glenfinnan and Acharacle, is the Green isle, also known as Eilean Fhianain, (St Finan's island). It is named after St Finan, the Early Christian missionary who spread the Christian faith throughout Lochaber in the 7th century and made the island a place of pilgrimage for penitents.

The medieval chapel on the Green Isle might have been erected by such penitents: Allan nan Creach – Allan of the Spoils – from Clan Cameron, who upon falling gravely ill vowed to build seven churches to atone for a life full of plunder and pillage, or more likely, Allan Mac Ruari, 4th Chief of Clanranald, another accomplished plunderer, for his murder of a priest. What is certain is that the chapel was never roofed and that from the earliest time, the Green Isle was the burial place for the MacDonalds of Moidart, the island graveyard divided in two halves, one Catholic, the other Protestant since the Reformation.

Sadly, the bronze handbell which used to stand on the chapel's stone altar has now disappeared. A curse is reputed to fall on those who dare take it away...

More information on visiting the area can be found here.