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Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.


Staffa from the Old Norse for stave or pillar island, is an island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The Vikings gave it this name as its columnar basalt reminded them of their houses, which were built from vertically placed tree-logs.
Staffa lies about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of the Isle of Mull. The area is 33 hectares (0.13 sq mi) and the highest point is 42 metres (138 ft) above sea level.
The island came to prominence in the late 18th century after a visit by Sir Joseph Banks. He and his fellow travellers extolled the natural beauty of the basalt columns in general and of the island’s main sea cavern which Banks re-named ‘Fingal’s Cave’. Their visit was followed by that of many other prominent personalities throughout the next two centuries, including Queen Victoria and Felix Mendelssohn. The latter’s Hebrides Overture brought further fame to the island, which was by then uninhabited. It is now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. In pre-historic times Staffa was covered by the ice sheets which spread from Scotland out into the Atlantic Ocean beyond the Outer Hebrides. After the last retreat of the ice around 20,000 years ago, sea levels were up to 125 metres (410 ft) lower than at present. Although the isostatic rise of land makes estimating post-glacial coastlines a complex task, c. 14,000 BP it is likely that Staffa was a larger island, just off the coast of mainland Scotland, which at that time would have included what is now the Isle of Mull, Iona and the Treshnish Isles.

pillar island 0001 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0002 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0003 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0004 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.


pillar island 0005 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0006 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0007 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0008 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0009 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0010 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0011 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0012 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0013 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

pillar island 0014 Island of the Inner Hebrides in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

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