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This shot was taken from just outside the former slate-mining village of Ellenabeich, the main settlement on the Island of Seil.
Seil is a small island on the east side of the Firth of Lorn, 10-12 miles south-west of Oban, Argyll, Scotland. Seil has been linked to the Scottish mainland since 1792 when Thomas Telford’s Clachan Bridge (otherwise known as the Bridge Over the Atlantic) was built.
The slate quarry at Ellenabeich was started by the Campbells of Breadalbane in 1745, and by 1842 new steam powered pumps meant that quarrying could take place to a depth of 250ft below sea level, in a vast pit separated from the sea by just a narrow strip of rock.
At the height of the industry in the 1870s, the combined output of the quarry at Elleneabeich and those at nearby Easdale Island, Luing and Belnahua filled ten steamers a week and it was justly claimed that these were “the islands that roofed the world”.
Date: 21st August 2008.