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Fingal's Rock

Natural Rock Feature


I thought this massive split boulder on the beach at Fionnphort much more striking than the standing stone down the road. It deserves a story and it looks like it's got a few. It's quite different stone from the famous pink granite of the area.
I asked a local fisherman about the split rock so obvious on the beach at Fionnphort, which is known to tourists as 'Fingal's Rock'. The locals call it rather more curiously 'The Swordstone', and it does appear cleaved clean in two by a sword - the story goes that around 1870, the quarry had a lifesaving contract cancelled on a dubious quality control claim. This led to protests, the novel result of which was packing a crack in the rock with gunpowder and splitting the block in two, a symbol of the historical division between local loyalties and higher, vested powers in Scotland.
That unlikely tale is from the Stone Country blog. Or there's the story that it's to do with giants throwing stones at each other, as you can read at the website of the nearby Seaview B+B. Fingal's Cave is only a reasonably-priced boat trip out to Staffa, you know, maybe that's the inspiration for the connection. Mmm Staffa.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th September 2013ce
Edited 15th September 2013ce

Comments (4)

This folklore post was brought to you by The Mull Tourist Board.

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thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
15th September 2013ce
Fionnphort. Big coaches full of christian tourists hanging about for the ferry with their backpacks. A pub entirely panelled with pine. A very comprehensive local shop with olives and an extensive selection of sweet pastries. And the rock's all pink. It was used in the Albert Memorial and other famous things. And it's a million miles from anywhere or so it seems.

You can't knock it too much. Though it did start raining. But there were no midges.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th September 2013ce
This could/should have been a fieldnote. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
15th September 2013ce
There is an abiding tradition that if you carry a piece of the green marble stone from an Iona beach that you will never drown. It's only a tradition though and doesn't actually have any basis in reality. Myself and my OH used to go over and camp at Craignure. Then we found our way down to the Iona end and instead would make straight for Fionnphort on our trips. The regular haunt was The Keel Row in Fionnphort. This wee entry brings back memories of staying at the Sea View during the late 90's, when we'd got to know some of the people in the area.

Gordon, the only survivor, managed to get ashore and banged on the door of the Sea View B&B.

Such a tiny wee place. Such a savage blow.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
17th September 2013ce
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