The small island of Easdale lies a short ferry ride off the bigger island of Seil. It could fit inside a kilometre grid square and rises to a grand height of 38m., yet it has been transformed by quarrying for slate predominately for roof tiles that were shipped to cities all over Britain.
The industry began in the 17th-century and by the early 1800s, steam pumps enabled the quarries to be kept clear of water as they went deeper and deeper. The deepest quarry went to 80m below sea level.
In 1881 a great storm flooded the quarries and the industry went into decline.
There are seven flooded quarries on the island, of brackish yet crystal clear water. Most are sheltered and calm surrounded by slate walls with just the slightest ripple from stray winds whilst just a few metres away the Firth of Lorne churns wild and white.
Stepping off the ferry, you enter a community with no cars and grassy paths weaving between the cottages. We somehow managed a 3 km walk around the island but unfortunately missed the cafe opening.