Glebe Barn on the extraordinary Isle of Eigg

Another reason to savour a visit to Glebe Barn on Eigg.

The last time I wrote about Glebe Barn, a lovely and homely bunkhouse overlooking the sea on the Isle of Eigg, I noted that the bunkhouse owners described their island home as ‘extraordinary’. I found out about its dramatic landscape centred around a towering igneous ridge and its fascinating history. For such a tiny island, though, Eigg keeps flinging more and more reasons to visit. 

This time round, my interest was peaked by issues of land ownership…Wait! Don’t yawn! It is better than it sounds. Eigg is one of those tiny communities which has been wholly owned by a landowner. See also Downham in Lancashire and Edensor in Derbyshire. Following neglect and under investment, the locals fund-raised to buy the island themselves shrugging off the feudal remnants and ushering in a new age in which the islanders generated their own energy; invested in their own infrastructure; and crucially managed their own tenancies. The stability and increasing prosperity this has brought has been shadowed by a growth in the creative arts. Have a look at their ‘government’s’ website and you’ll see evidence of writing, visual arts, and music. Artists can take up residence in the inspirational landscape around Sweeney’s Bothy, Musicians are fostered by the record Label ‘Lost Map’ as well as performances all year. 

In a way it reminds me of Iceland in that a dramatic landscape, a close knit community and a progressive government can create an environment of great creativity.  

Another extraordinary reason to savour a visit to Glebe Barn on Eigg.


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View of side of house, garden and views over the hills beyond

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