|Population||1,000 (mid-2020 est.)|
|OS grid reference|
|• Edinburgh||120 mi (193 km)|
|• London||427 mi (687 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||ISLE OF MULL|
Tobermory ( // ; Scottish Gaelic : Tobar Mhoire) is the capital of, and until 1973 the only burgh on, the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. It is located on the east coast of Mishnish, the most northerly part of the island, near the northern entrance of the Sound of Mull. The village was founded as a fishing port in 1788; its layout was based on the designs of Dumfriesshire engineer Thomas Telford. It has a current population of about 1,000. It is notable for appearing in the 2002–05 children's programme Balamory by the BBC.
The name Tobermory is derived from the Gaelic Tobar Mhoire, meaning "Mary's well". The name refers to a well located nearby which was dedicated in ancient times to the Virgin Mary.
Archaeological excavations have taken place at Baliscate just outside of the town. The site was first noted by Hylda Marsh and Beverley Langhorn as part of the Scotland's Rural Past.In 2009, it was partially excavated by Time Team and a further longer excavation took place in 2012 as part of a community archaeology project through the Mull Museum.
The different excavations found that there was a sixth-century agricultural settlement which was either adopted or replaced by a seventh-century Christian community with a chapel and cemetery. In the late 11th or early 12th century, a stone and turf structure was built which was probably a longhouse or hall. Then, in the late 13th or early 14th century, a wattle and turf structure was built over these earlier structures. That then burnt down and was replaced by a new stone and turf structure. It was used from the 16th to 19th century intermittently. All of which showed that people had been living and working in the Tobermory area for over 1,000 years before the village was founded.
The site is now a listed monument.
Legend has it that the wreck of a Spanish galleon, laden with gold, lies somewhere in the mud at the bottom of Tobermory Bay—although the ship's true identity, and cargo, are in dispute. By some accounts, the Florencia (or Florida, or San Francisco), a member of the defeated Spanish Armada fleeing the English fleet in 1588, anchored in Tobermory to take on provisions. Following a dispute over payment (or possibly, according to local folklore, a spell cast by the witch Dòideag), the ship caught fire and the gunpowder magazine exploded, sinking the vessel. In her hold, reputedly, was £300,000 worth of gold bullion.Other sources claim the vessel was the San Juan de Sicilia (or San Juan de Baptista), which, records indicate, carried troops, not treasure. Whatever the true story, no significant treasure has ever been recovered in Tobermory Bay.
Seventeenth-century efforts to salvage the treasure are well-documented. The Duke of Lennox gifted rights to Spanish wrecks near Tobermory to the Marquess of Argyll. In 1666, his son the Earl of Argyll engaged James Maule of Melgum to use diving bells to find treasure, and recover the valuable brass cannon. Maule had learnt diving in Sweden, but raised only two brass guns and an iron cannon, and left after three months. It was later said he had hoped to return, thinking he was the only expert diver. Argyll however raised six cannon by workmen under his direction, and next employed John Saint Clare, or Sinclair, son of the minister of Ormiston, in 1676 and a German sub-contractor Hans Albricht van Treileben, who had worked on the wreck of the Vasa . The next year, the earl transferred the rights to Captain Adolpho E. Smith and Treileben. At this period the fore-part of the wreck was visible above water, and was called the Admiral of Florence. The project was beset with difficulties in 1678; the Admiralty disputed Argyll's rights to the wreck. Captain Adolpho Smith refused to return the diving equipment to William Campbell, captain of the earl's frigate, the Anna of Argyll. The McLean clan fought the divers on land at Tobermory, led by Hector McLean, brother of Lachlan McLean of Torloisk.
The largest attempt made to locate the galleon was in 1950 when the then Duke of Argyll signed a contract with the British Admiralty to locate the galleon. Nothing came of the attempt, apart from the development of equipment still used today to locate ancient sunk vessels.Owing to similarities in sailing conditions, in the mid-1800s emigrant sailors created the community of Tobermory in Ontario, Canada. This namesake town has twin harbours, known locally as "Big Tub" and "Little Tub", which sheltered ships from the severe storms of Lake Huron.
During the Second World War, Tobermory was home to the Royal Navy training base HMS Western Isles, under the command of the legendary Vice admiral Sir Gilbert Stephenson, the so-called "Terror of Tobermory". His biography was written by broadcaster Richard Baker, who trained under him.
Many of the buildings on Main Street, predominantly shops and restaurants, are painted in various bright colours, making it a popular location for television programmes, such as the children's show Balamory . The burgh hosts the Mull Museum, the Tobermory whisky distillery (and from 2005 to 2009 there was also a brewery, the Isle of Mull brewing company)as well as Mull Aquarium, the first catch and release aquarium in Europe. The clock tower on the harbour wall is a noted landmark. The town also contains an arts centre, An Tobar, the management of which was merged with Mull Theatre in 2012 to form the umbrella arts organisation Comar. The theatre remains, based just outside Tobermory in Drumfin, and is used by youth and adult dance and drama groups, hosting a wide variety of performances. Staffa Tours popular boat tours leave from Tobermory to visit the Treshnish Isles and Fingals Cave on Staffa.
71% of Tobermory residents were born in Scotland, 23% in England and 6% elsewhere.
Tobermorite, a calcium silicate hydrate found near Tobermory in 1880, was named after the town.
The visit of the composer Felix Mendelssohn in 1829, en route to Staffa, is commemorated in the annual Mendelssohn on Mull Festival.Other highlights of the town's calendar include an annual Traditional Music Festival held on the last weekend in April, the local Mòd, which takes place on the second Saturday in September and has established itself as one of the best local Mòds on the circuit, the Mull Fiddler's Rally, also in September, and the traditional Mull Highland Games held every summer.
The fictional town of Torbay in Alistair MacLean's novel When Eight Bells Toll was based on Tobermory, and much of the 1971 movie was filmed in the town and other parts of Mull. The writer Saki gave the name to a cat taught to speak English in one of his most famous short stories.and two well-loved children's TV series have made use of the town's name. Elisabeth Beresford called one of The Wombles 'Tobermory', and more recently the town played host to its almost-namesake Balamory for three years (2002–2005). Other films made in the area include the 1945 Powell and Pressburger classic I Know Where I'm Going! . In the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith (1933 - ), volume 7 - titled Bertie Plays the Blues - has baby triplets named Tobermory, Rognvald, and Fergus. In the children's animated feature, Nocturna, the Cat Shepherd's faithful cat, is called Tobermory.
Ferries sail between Tobermory and the mainland to Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, but principal access to the island is via ferry between Oban and Craignure. Craignure is around 22 miles (35 kilometres) from Tobermory. This is the main route for visitors to the island. An additional ferry sails between Lochaline on the mainland and Fishnish.
Argyll and Bute is one of 32 unitary council areas in Scotland and a lieutenancy area. The current lord-lieutenant for Argyll and Bute is Jane Margaret MacLeod. The administrative centre for the council area is in Lochgilphead at Kilmory Castle, a 19th-century Gothic Revival building and estate. The current council leader is Robin Currie, a councillor for Kintyre and the Islands.
The Inner Hebrides is an archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland, to the south east of the Outer Hebrides. Together these two island chains form the Hebrides, which experience a mild oceanic climate. The Inner Hebrides comprise 35 inhabited islands as well as 44 uninhabited islands with an area greater than 30 hectares. Skye, Mull, and Islay are the three largest, and also have the highest populations. The main commercial activities are tourism, crofting, fishing and whisky distilling. In modern times the Inner Hebrides have formed part of two separate local government jurisdictions, one to the north and the other to the south. Together, the islands have an area of about 4,130 km2 (1,594 sq mi), and had a population of 18,948 in 2011. The population density is therefore about 4.6 inhabitants per square kilometre.
Staffa 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.
The Isle of Mull or just Mull is the second-largest island of the Inner Hebrides and lies off the west coast of Scotland in the council area of Argyll and Bute.
Argyll, sometimes called Argyllshire, is a historic county and registration county of western Scotland.
Ulva is a small island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, off the west coast of Mull. It is separated from Mull by a narrow strait, and connected to the neighbouring island of Gometra by a bridge. Much of the island is formed from Cenozoic basalt rocks, which are formed into columns in places.
The Treshnish Isles are an archipelago of small islands and skerries, lying west of the Isle of Mull, in Scotland. They are part of the Inner Hebrides. Trips to the Treshnish Isles operate from Ulva Ferry, Tobermory, Ardnamurchan and Tiree.
Mingary Castle, also known as Mingarry Castle, is a castle situated one mile southeast of the small village of Kilchoan in Lochaber, Scotland. Nestled on ridge of rock overlooking the sea, it was considered a strategically important site in terms of communication with overseas areas and as an entranceway to the Sound of Mull. Mingary is roughly hexagonal in shape with nine-foot-thick walls, thicker on the seaward side. The remains of the castle are protected as a category A listed building.
Craignure is a village and the main ferry port on the Isle of Mull, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The village is within the parish of Torosay.
Fishnish is a ferry terminal on the Isle of Mull, roughly halfway between Tobermory and Craignure. It is owned and operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. It is served by the ferry that crosses the Sound of Mull to and from Lochaline.
Morvern, historically also spelt Morven, is a peninsula and traditional district in the Highlands, on the west coast of Scotland. It lies south of the districts of Ardgour and Sunart, and is bounded on the north by Loch Sunart and Glen Tarbert, on the south east by Loch Linnhe and on the south west by the Sound of Mull. The highest point is the summit of the Corbett Creach Bheinn which reaches 853 metres (2,799 ft) in elevation.
Salen is a settlement on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. It is on the east coast of the island, on the Sound of Mull, approximately halfway between Craignure and Tobermory. The full name of the settlement is 'Sàilean Dubh Chaluim Chille'. In 1991 it had a population of 500.
Tobermory High School is the only secondary school on the Isle of Mull. It is located in Tobermory, at the northern end of the island.
The Sound of Mull is a sound between the Inner Hebridean island of Mull and mainland Scotland. It forms part of the Atlantic Ocean.
The San Juan de Sicilia was one of the 130 ships that formed the ill-fated Spanish Armada of 1588. The ship was originally known as the Brod Martolosi, before it was seized to form part of the navy. It was one of 10 ships forming the Levant squadron, one of 8 squadrons that formed the entire armada.
Kilbride is a small township in Strath Swordale, Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Loch na Keal, meaning Loch of the Kyle, or Narrows, also Loch of the Cliffs, is the principal sea loch on the western, or Atlantic coastline of the island of Mull, in the Inner Hebrides, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Loch na Keal extends over 20 kilometres (12 mi) inland, almost bisecting Mull, and extending to within 5 km (3 mi) of the eastern shore. The loch gives its name to the Loch na Keal National Scenic Area, one of forty national scenic areas in Scotland.
Pennyghael is a small village in the Ross of Mull, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It is located along the A849 road aligned along the coast line of Ross, on Loch Scridain in southwestern Mull, along the road to Bunessan. The Leidle River passes to the west of the village into the Loch.
Alasdair MacIlleBhàin is a singer and songwriter from Mull, performing primarily in Scottish Gaelic.