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Isle of North Rona

Isle of North Rona

The island of North Rona (Hraun-oy, Old Norse, "boulder-strewn island") is situated about 45 miles NNE of Ness, Lewis. It is less inhospitable than its neighbouring island, Sula Sgeir, and its 300 acres have supported a small population in past centuries.

In the 8th century, St Ronan founded a hermitage which includes his cell, a small chapel and a number of grave markers. His own cross-shaped gravestone was removed to Comann Eachdraidh Nis for safekeeping.

Other domestic buildings were occupied until the early 19th century, when permanent habitation on the island was abandoned. The census of 1841 gives only three young merchant seaman in residence on the island.

The island is an important breeding ground for seabirds (puffins, guillemots, kittiwake, fulmar, and storm and Leach's petrels) and for a seasonal population of 8,000 grey seals. The island is a National Nature Reserve managed by NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage).


Title: Isle of North Rona
Record Type: Locations
Gaelic Name: Rònaigh
Also Known As: Rona
Type: Island
Record Maintained By: HC
Subject Id: 57371