Lords of the Isles - Research-7240

The Lord of the Isles

No photographic project should be undertaken without research.  As this project moves forward we will uncover additional resources and information about the Lords of the Isles.

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It was in a store in Bowmore that this little book caught my eye and launched my project to photograph the kingdom of the Lords of the Isles. My fascination with these medieval warriors was instant and I began reading and making connections that would lead me to a wonderful adventure. In the spring of 2023 I began following in the footsteps of the lords and photographing places in the Western Highlands and Islands that had been part of this territory. While I was waylaid by a broken leg just before my scheduled second trip I did not give up my quest. The journey continues with at least two more trips planned in 2024. The little book that started it all is published by The Finlaggan Trust. www.finlaggan.org


Islay, known today as the “whisky isle”, is a place of remarkable beauty that has been a key component of Scottish history, especially as it relates to the Lords of the Isles. Situated on Islay is Finlaggan, the headquarters of the Lords of the Isles for more than a century and a half. One of the archaeologists who has spent years excavating Finlaggan is David Caldwell, author of Islay: The Land of the Lordship. This is yet another of the references I have been using on this project. www.birlinn.co.uk


“At the height of the Middle Ages – while elsewhere in Scotland great nobles were building castles to protect themselves from the English or their own neighbors – a unique political institution was taking shape amongst the Gaelic people of the west. This was the Lordship of the Isles, the highest expression of the organizational genius of Clan Donald…The Lordship provided the Gaels of Scotland with a political unity and cultural focus that was never to be equalled.” Raymond Campbell Paterson from the book The Lords of the Isles. www.birlinn.co.uk

References and more

More Information

This list of resources will be continually updated for those who wish to learn more about the medieval warriors who ruled the Western Highlands and Islands between 1100 and 1500.  Follow the links.