island was purchased from its private German
owner in 1997 by the Isle of Eigg Heritage
Trust - a conservation group which included
local crofters, the Highland Council and the
Scottish Wildlife Trust - following a public
appeal. Mains electricity finally arrived in
Covering a mere 12 square miles, Eigg was cleared of people in the 19th century to make way for sheep farming. Its most remarkable feature is a 1,300ft sheer rock, the Sgurr of Eigg.
The main settlement, Cleadale, has a ‘singing’ beach which makes a noise when the dry sand is trampled underfoot. The monastery at Kildonan was the scene of a famous massacre in the 7th century when the Irish missionary, St Donan, and his monks were slaughtered by Pictish women built like Amazons. In the 16th century the island’s MacDonald clan was killed by suffocation when their arch-enemies, the MacLeods, lit a fire at the entrance of a cave in which had taken refuge.