We offer you a choice of properties, properly furnished and equipped for a comfortable holiday. Our properties have magnificent views and are available all-year-round; they are inexpensive in summer and amazing value in winter, ranging from £255 for a 5 night stay to as little as £655 for a full four weeks. Christmas and New Year cost a little more, but are still available. For full details, including tariff and availability chart, just follow this link::





COLONSAY HISTORY No. 4 March 2015: Contents - follow the link and see

Next edition due May 2015

COLONSAY KINDRED No. 4 April 2015: Contents - follow the link and see it now

Next edition due June 2015

THE CORNCRAKE: recreated archive of the first 100 editions (work in progress)

Things have slowed up on this site, due to pressure of other projects. One of the most important is directly connected with Colonsay's history, because it concerns the parish church. All the births, marriages, deaths, graveyard inscriptions, census returns and shipping lists available have been transcribed by me and published online. Many hundreds of Colonsay folk who knew that church were forced to leave, to start a new life either in the cities or in the New World. In many cases their old home no longer exists and they would see many changes in the island - but they would see the church unchanged. Unfortunately, the distinctive little belfry is now in danger of collapse and parishioners are trying to raise £20,000 to save it. Please see the details, via and help if you can, either by a donation or even by just passing the word. Thank you - Kevin Byrne (Session Clerk)

By the way, another bit of history: if you happen to be visiting Colonsay, you might like to know that the original Inn at Inveraray is now owned by the Byrne family of Colonsay; it is a Grade A listed building, and if you mention Colonsay you will be eligible for a special rate, summer or winter, subject to availability. See If you happen to take the other road, the same offer applies at Best Western Crianlarich Hotel and the associated Arts & Crafts style Glenbruar B & B


This site seeks to share and celebrate all aspects of the history and heritage of the Isles of Colonsay and Oronsay.

If you are interested in any general aspect of Colonsay History, please bookmark the site you are now on and feel free to contribute. There are a few "starter" items on this page, but the main focus is the newsletter (nominally bi-monthly), called Colonsay History. It first appeared in September 2014 and all the issues can be accessed from this page.

If you are interested in the specific field of Colonsay Family History, you will find another bi-monthly newsletter, called Colonsay Kindred, which is accessed at

Both projects are still tender and will have to evolve. They are ploys by Kevin Byrne, who has an archive of information which really should be shared, and the intention is to host such material here. Anything written is in good faith - please feel free to challenge, correct or enhance the material; inevitably most will be written by [KB], who can only apologise! The target is to try to produce something here about general history every two months (September, November etc.), and to try to add some Colonsay Family History via Colonsay Kindred in the intervening months.

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow - the following few items were just to make a start before the Newsletter got under way.

Brief introductory note about the history of the Isles of Colonsay and Oronsay (KB).

Colonsay persons who served in WWI and survived - a note by Alan Davis, author of Colonsay's Fallen

Bodies washed ashore in Colonsay during WWII, transcription of official document (KB).

Farming Scene a photo from WWII lent by John Clark

Memoir of Philip Pfaff who was stationed in Colonsay during part of WWII

Matters arising - comments by readers and additional information on any of the 5 items listed above

Sasine of 1830 - the Old Laird borrowing £2,900, interesting local detail

The Archive:

COLONSAY HISTORY No. 1 September 2014: Contents - "Migration from Colonsay", notes by Prof. John Sheets; "Colonsay Regatta 1892"; "Donald McMillan 1858 -1885", an appreciation by Kevin Byrne; "An Oronsay Grave - A. Fisher" and "Colonsay Fire Station".

COLONSAY HISTORY No. 2 November 2014: Contents - "The Voyage of the Spencer", by Hector Munn; Murdoch MacNeill, his portrait; Dr. Mary McNeill, daughter to Alexander and Mary; Rev. Donald McNeill, Elderslie; McNeill Portraits 1880-1910; and Alexander McNeill, Laird of Colonsay, his Will. Next edition due January 2015

COLONSAY HISTORY No. 3 January 2015: Contents - Welcome; News; "Wartime Colonsay 1939 - 45", by Ken McAllister; "Vernacular Dwellings in Colonsay"; "A "new" archaeological site in Colonsay"; "The sguidean or rock-shelters of Colonsay"; "The earliest occupation-sites in Colonsay"; "The McNeill Portraits 1880-1910" inc. McPhee, Buie, Galbreath, Duncan, Cowling interest; A note to Readers.

COLONSAY HISTORY No. 4 March 2015: Contents - Welcome; News; Bonaveh Project; Victorian Photographs; McNeill Photographs; Some Saints Associated with Colonsay & Oronsay; A note to Readers. Next edition due May 2015


COLONSAY KINDRED No. 1 October 2014: Contents include a full transcription of Colonsay 1911 Census and an archive of 65 McNeill family portraits, plus plenty more.

COLONSAY KINDRED No. 2 December 2014: Contents include a full transcription of the will of Archibald McNeill, sometime laird of Colonsay, plus plenty more.

COLONSAY KINDRED No. 3 February 2015: Contents refer to Malcolm McNeill & Catherine Stewart; Allen McNeill and the MacDonald chieftain connection; information on the direct descendants of Malcolm MacPhee, chief of the clan; and an update on Victorian Cartes de Visite.

COLONSAY KINDRED No. 4 April 2015: Contents refer to Nicolas McNeill, Colonsay's first victim in WWI; the Victorian photographs; identification of Ena Worthington; Riasg Buidhe article by Prof. Sheets. Next edition due June 2015

Please note that a vast amount of genealogical material is hosted at It includes shipping lists, Birth, Marriages, Deaths, census returns, gravestone inscriptions and it is intended develop that site with additional One Name material for family historians. The site you are viewing currently is intended to be a repository of more generic material but there will inevitably be some overlap. Additional material is welcome by byrne[at]

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