Treshnish Isles History

The Treshnish Isles today are uninhabited except for their huge colonies of seabirds, but archaeological history reveals that they were settled as far back as early Viking times with the last inhabitants leaving in the 1850s. There's a ruined village in the northeast of the Lunga, the largest island in the archipelago.

The islands have attracted travellers and visitors for at least 1000 years and some place names are rooted in the Viking language, reflecting their Hebridean rule. The names of some of the islands still reflect their importance to the Vikings who once ruled in the Hebrides. The islands, and especially Cairnburgh Castle on the islands of Cairn na Burgh Mòr and Cairn na Burgh Beg, gave the Vikings and subsequent inhabitants such as the MacDougall, MacDonald and Maclean clans a strong strategic position until it was abandoned in the late 1700s.

Visitors today can not only take in the spectacle of the Treshnish Isles’ huge and diverse population of seabirds, but explore the ruins of hill forts, castles and medieval chapels as welll as hunt for fossils on some beaches.

Since 2000 the Treshnish Isles have been owned by The Hebridean Trust who commision surveys, conservation and restoration work to aid archaeological research.

How to get to the Treshnish Isles

We have four tours available departing from different locations on the West Coast of Scotland ensuring you are never too far away from a trip to the Treshnish Isles!