The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of mainland Scotland. There are two main groups: the Outer Hebrides; these islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic, the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive influences of Celtic and English-speaking peoples. This diversity is reflected in the names given to the islands, which are derived from the languages that have been spoken there in historic and prehistoric times; the Hebrides are the source of much of Gaelic music. Today the economy of the islands is dependent on crofting, tourism, the oil industry, renewable energy; the Hebrides have lower biodiversity than mainland Scotland, but there is a significant presence of seals and seabirds. The earliest written references that have survived relating to the islands were made circa 77 AD by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, where he states that there are 30 Hebudes, makes a separate reference to Dumna, which Watson concludes is unequivocally the Outer Hebrides.
Writing about 80 years in 140-150 AD, drawing on the earlier naval expeditions of Agricola, writes that there are five Ebudes and Dumna. Texts in classical Latin, by writers such as Solinus, use the forms Hebudes and Hæbudes; the name Ebudes recorded by Ptolemy may be pre-Celtic. Islay is Ptolemy's Epidion, the use of the "p" hinting at a Brythonic or Pictish tribal name, although the root is not Gaelic. Woolf has suggested that Ebudes may be "an Irish attempt to reproduce the word Epidii phonetically rather than by translating it" and that the tribe's name may come from the root epos meaning "horse". Watson notes the possible relationship between Ebudes and the ancient Irish Ulaid tribal name Ibdaig and the personal name of a king Iubdán recorded in the Silva Gadelica; the names of other individual islands reflect their complex linguistic history. The majority are Norse or Gaelic but the roots of several other Hebrides may have a pre-Celtic origin. Adomnán, the 7th century abbot of Iona, records Colonsay as Colosus and Tiree as Ethica, both of which may be pre-Celtic names.
The etymology of Skye is complex and may include a pre-Celtic root. Lewis is Ljoðhús in Old Norse and although various suggestions have been made as to a Norse meaning the name is not of Gaelic origin and the Norse credentials are questionable; the earliest comprehensive written list of Hebridean island names was undertaken by Donald Monro in 1549, which in some cases provides the earliest written form of the island name. The derivations of all of the inhabited islands of the Hebrides and some of the larger uninhabited ones are listed below. Lewis and Harris is the largest island in Scotland and the third largest in the British Isles, after Great Britain and Ireland, it incorporates Lewis in the north and Harris in the south, both of which are referred to as individual islands, although they are joined by a land border. Remarkably, the island does not have a common name in either English or Gaelic and is referred to as "Lewis and Harris", "Lewis with Harris", "Harris with Lewis" etc. For this reason it is treated as two separate islands below.
The derivation of Lewis may be pre-Celtic and the origin of Harris is no less problematic. In the Ravenna Cosmography, Erimon may refer to Harris; this word may derive from the Ancient Greek: ἐρῆμος (erimos "desert". The origin of Uist is unclear. There are various examples of Inner Hebridean island names that were Gaelic but have become replaced. For example, Adomnán records Sainea, Elena and Oideacha in the Inner Hebrides, which names must have passed out of usage in the Norse era and whose locations are not clear. One of the complexities is that an island may have had a Celtic name, replaced by a similar-sounding Norse name, but reverted to an Gaelic name with a Norse "øy" or "ey" ending. See for example Rona below; the names of uninhabited islands follow the same general patterns as the inhabited islands. The following are the ten largest in their outliers; the etymology of St Kilda, a small archipelago west of the Outer Hebrides, its main island Hirta, is complex. No saint is known by the name of Kilda, various theories have been proposed for the word's origin, which dates from the late 16th century.
Haswell-Smith notes that the full name "St Kilda" first appears on a Dutch map dated 1666, that it may have been derived from Norse sunt kelda or from a mistaken Dutch assumption that the spring Tobar Childa was dedicated to a saint. The origin of the Gaelic for "Hirta"—Hiort, Hirt, or Irt—which long pre-dates the use of "St Kilda", is open to interpretation. Watson offers the Old Irish hirt, a word meaning "death" relating to the dangerous seas. Maclean, drawing on an Icelandic saga describing an early 13th-century voyage to Ireland that mentions a visit to the islands of Hirtir, speculates that the shape of Hirta resembles a stag, hirtir being "stags" in Norse; the etymology of small islands may be no less complex. In relation to Dubh Artach, R. L. Stevenson believed that "black and dismal" was a translation of the name, noting that "as usual, in Gaelic, it is not the only one." The Hebrides were settled during the Mesolithic era around 6500 BC or earlier, after the climatic conditions improved enough
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is free to everyone, regardless of immigration or visitor status; the NHS commissions most emergency medical services through the 14 NHS organisations with ambulance responsibility across the UK. As with other emergency services, the public access emergency medical services through one of the valid emergency telephone numbers. In addition to ambulance services provided by NHS organisations, there are some private and volunteer emergency medical services arrangements in place in the UK, the use of private or volunteer ambulances at public events or large private sites, as part of community provision of services such as community first responders. Air ambulance services in the UK are not part of the NHS and are funded through charitable donations.
Paramedics are seconded from a local NHS ambulance service, with the exception of Great North Air Ambulance Service who employ their own paramedics. Doctors are provided by their home hospital and spend no more than 40% of their time with an air ambulance service. Public ambulance services across the UK are required by law to respond to four types of requests for care, which are: Emergency calls Doctor's urgent admission requests High dependency and urgent inter-hospital transfers Major incidentsAmbulance trusts and services may undertake non-urgent patient transport services on a commercial arrangement with their local hospital trusts or health boards, or in some cases on directly funded government contracts, although these contracts are fulfilled by private and voluntary providers; the National Health Service Act 1946 gave county and borough councils a statutory responsibility to provide an emergency ambulance service, although they could contract a voluntary ambulance service to provide this, with many contracting the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance or another local provider.
The last St John Division, to be so contracted is reputed to have been at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire, where the two-bay ambulance garage can still be seen at the branch headquarters. The Regional Ambulance Officers’ Committee reported in 1979 that “There was considerable local variation in the quality of the service provided in relation to vehicles and equipment. Most Services were administered by Local Authorities through their Medical Officer of Health and his Ambulance Officer, a few were under the aegis of the Fire Service, whilst others relied upon agency methods for the provision of part or all of their services.” The 142 existing ambulance services were transferred by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 from local authority to central government control in 1974, consolidated into 53 services under regional or area health authorities. This led to the formation of predominantly county based ambulance services, which merged up and changed responsibilities until 2006, when there were 31 NHS ambulance trusts in England.
The June 2005 report "Taking healthcare to the Patient", authored by Peter Bradley, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service, for the Department of Health led to the merging of the 31 trusts into 13 organisations in England, plus one organisation each in Wales and Northern Ireland. Following further changes as part of the NHS foundation trust pathway, this has further reduced to 10 ambulance service trusts in England, plus the Isle of Wight which has its own provision. Following the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, commissioning of the ambulance services in each area passed from central government control into the hands of regional clinical commissioning groups; the commissioners in each region are responsible for contracting with a suitable organisation to provide ambulance services within their geographical territory. The primary provider for each area is held by a public NHS body, of which there are 11 in England, 1 each in the other three countries. In England there are now ten NHS ambulance trusts, as well as an ambulance service on the Isle of Wight, run directly by Isle of Wight NHS Trust, with boundaries following those of the former regional government offices.
The ten trusts are: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust London Ambulance Service NHS Trust North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS TrustThe English ambulance trusts are represented by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, with the Scottish and Northern Irish providers all associate members. On the 14 November 2018 West Midlands Ambulance Service became the UK's first university-ambulance trust; the service was operated before reorganisation in 1974 by the St Andrews’ Ambulance Association under contract to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Scottish Ambulance Service is a Special Health Board that provides ambulance services throughout whole of Scotland, on behalf of the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government.
Due to the remote nature of many areas of Scotland compared to the other Home Nations, the Scottish Ambulance Service has Britain's only publi
Eriskay, from the Old Norse for "Eric's Isle", is an island and community council area of the Outer Hebrides in northern Scotland. It lies between South Uist and Barra and is connected to South Uist by a causeway, opened in 2001. In the same year Eriskay became the ferry terminal for travelling between South Barra; the Caledonian MacBrayne vehicular ferry travels between Ceann a' Ghàraidh in Eriskay and Ardmore in Barra. The crossing takes around 40 minutes. Although only a small island, Eriskay has many claims to fame that have made the island well-known far beyond the Hebrides, it is associated with the Eriskay Love Lilt. It is the real Whisky Galore! Island: it was just off Eriskay that the SS Politician ran aground in 1941 with its famous cargo. On 2 August 1745 the privateer Du Teillay landed Bonnie Prince Charlie with his "seven men of Moidart" on Eriskay to start the'Forty-Five Jacobite Rising'. An important early documentary film, Eriskay: A Poem of Remote Lives, made by a German traveller, Werner Kissling, was set on the island.
There is a well-stocked shop in a community centre and the Politician Lounge Bar. The Roman Catholic church of St Michael's sits on a hill overlooking the main village on Eriskay, it celebrated its centenary in 2003, having been built by Father Allan MacDonald in 1903. The site of the old church is marked by a memorial garden with a statue of the Virgin Mary, overlooking the Sound of Barra. Eriskay is traversed by a number of mountain paths and tracks, has just a single motor road; the first stretch of that road was built in 1935, funded through proceeds from the first showing in London of the Werner Kissling film. There is a regular bus service on the island which forms part of the "Spine Route" between Eriskay Slipway and Berneray via South Uist and North Uist. Services are provided by DA Travel, Grenitote Travel, Hebridean Coaches and Royal Mail Postbus, with funding from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. In 2009 the previous primitive quay facilities at the excellent natural harbour of Acarsaid Mhòr were extended and modernised, with improved vehicular access.
Some smaller fishing boats continue—at least if the tides and weather are favourable—to use the shelving bay at Haun. Acarsaid Mhòr is used by visiting yachts. Following the establishment of the first Crofting Commission in the 1880s, the whole of the island, together with the small adjoining Stack Island, were incorporated into the crofting townships—as below—of Acarsaid Mhòr – 14 crofts, 10 shares Am Baile – 16 crofts, 15 shares Bun a' Mhuillinn – 10 crofts, 10 shares Coilleag – 10 crofts, 10 shares Na Hann – 6 crofts, 4 shares Na Pàirceannan – 4 crofts, 4 shares Roisinis – 4 crofts, 6 shares Rudha Bàn – 9 crofts, 5 shares Total – 73 crofts, 64 shares The souming for each full share gives the right to put, on the common grazings, ten sheep, two cows and one Eriskay Pony. Most crofts have one full share, but many have a half share, a few have two shares, one croft has as many as 3 shares; the crofts are small and the land is rocky and exposed to harsh weather. These days few crofts are worked: there is little economic return in relation to the effort, although there is a strong cultural attachment to the land, the demands and distractions of modern life leave little time for tending livestock and manual work.
Much of the best grazing land, the machair of the north west of the island, has been compromised by house-building and the increasing opposition to the free-range grazing of cattle and sheep during the winter. Now, the most worked crofts are in the township of Bun a' Mhuillin; the island's common grazings, the grazing of croft inbye land during the winter months, are regulated by the Eriskay Grazings Committee, the members of which serve a three-year term, supported by a Grazings Clerk, according to the Grazings Regulations as provided for in the Crofting Acts. After a protracted campaign local residents took control of the island on 30 November 2006 in a community buy-out; the previous landowners, a sporting syndicate, sold the assets of the 372-square-kilometre estate including Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay for £4.5 million to a community-owned organisation known as Stòras Uibhist, set up to purchase the land and to manage it in perpetuity. Many Eriskay families have had to leave the island in recent years in search of work and some historic island families have few or no descendants left on the island.
An example of these families is the MacInnes who were a prominent island family at the time of the Kissling film but now number just four members of the extended family dwelling on the island, active in crofting, shell-fishing, building work, as well contributing to the community. Many of those who leave for the mainland are young as—in common with remoter rural areas generally—there are few work opportunities and limited access to further or higher education; the island's population was 143, as recorded by the 2011 census—an increase of 7.5% since 2001, when there were 133 usual residents. During the same period Scottish island populations as a whole grew by 4% to 103,702. Tourism has been slow to develop; as of 2010 there are no hotels, two- or three-bed and
Scottish Ambulance Service
The Scottish Ambulance Service is the NHS Ambulance Services Trust, part of NHS Scotland, which serves all of Scotland's population. Uniquely, the Scottish Ambulance Service is considered a special health board and is funded directly by the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government, it is the sole public emergency medical service covering Scotland's mainland and islands. In 1948, the newly formed National Health Service contracted two voluntary organisations, the St Andrew's Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross, to jointly provide a national ambulance provision for Scotland, known as the St Andrew's and Red Cross Scottish Ambulance Service; the British Red Cross withdrew from the service in 1967. In 1974, with the reorganisation of the National Health Service, ambulance provision in Scotland was taken over by the NHS, with the organisational title being shortened to the now-current Scottish Ambulance Service. St. Andrew's First Aid, the trading name of St. Andrew's Ambulance Association, continues as a voluntary organisation and provides first aid training and provision in a private capacity.
The Scottish Ambulance Service now continues in its current form as one of the largest emergency medical providers in the UK, employing more than 4,000 staff in a variety of roles and responding to 740,631 emergency incidents in 2015/2016 alone. The service, like the rest of the National Health Service is free at point of access and is utilised by the public and healthcare professionals alike. Employing 1,300 paramedic staff, a further 1,200 technicians, the accident and emergency service is accessed through the public 999 system. Ambulance responses are now prioritised on patient requirement; the Scottish Ambulance Service maintains three command and control centres in Scotland, which facilitate handling of 999 calls and dispatch of ambulances. These three centres have handle over 800,000 calls per year; the AMPDS system is used for call prioritisation, provides post-dispatch instructions to callers allowing for medical advice to be given over the phone, prior to ambulance arrival. Clinical staff are present to provide tertiary triage.
Co-located with the Ambulance Control Centres are patient transport booking and control services, which handle 1 million patient journeys per year. The Scottish Ambulance Service maintains a varied fleet of around 1,500 vehicles; this includes Accident and Emergency ambulances single-response vehicles such as cars and small vans for paramedics, patient-transport ambulances which come in the form of adapted minibuses and support vehicles for major incidents and events, specialist vehicles such as 4x4s and tracked vehicles for difficult access. The unique geography of Scotland, which includes urban centres such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, areas of low-population such as Grampian and the Highlands, the Island communities mean that fleet provision has to be flexible and include different approaches to vehicle construction. In the past, 4x4-build ambulances on van chassis have been used in more rural areas, traditional van-conversions in more urban. With a large fleet upgrade project being commissioned in 2016, the business case was made to move to a box-body on chassis build, to provide some flexibility and more resilient parts procurement.
Most of these replacement ambulances have been based on either Mercedes or Volkswagen chassis, with a mixture of automatic or manual transmissions. The equipment used on board Scottish Ambulance Service vehicles broadly falls in line with NHS Scotland and allows for intraoperability in most cases. Equipment is replaced at regular service intervals; the uniform falls in line with the NHS Scotland National Uniform standard, in keeping with the uniform standard described by the National Ambulance Uniform Procurement group in 2016. Amongst cost and comfort considerations, all Scottish Ambulance Service Staff now wear the national uniform which comprises a dark green trouser / shirt combination. Personal Protective Equipment are issued to all staff and denote rank / clinical rank by way of epaulette and helmet markings; the national headquarters are in west side of Edinburgh and there are five divisions within the Service, namely: The Patient Transport Service carries over 1.3 million patients every year.
This service is provided to patients who are physically or medically unfit to travel to hospital out-patient appointments by any other means can still make their appointments. The service handles non-emergency admissions, transport of palliative care patients and a variety of other specialised roles. Patient Transport Vehicles come in a variety of forms and are staffed by Ambulance Care Assistants, whom work
Caledonian MacBrayne shortened to CalMac, is the major operator of passenger and vehicle ferries, ferry services, between the mainland of Scotland and 22 of the major islands on Scotland's west coast. Since 2006 the company's official name has been CalMac Ferries Ltd although it still operates as Caledonian MacBrayne. In 2006 it became a subsidiary of holding company David MacBrayne Ltd, owned by the Scottish Government. MacBrayne's known as David Hutcheson & Co. began in 1851 as a private steamship operator when G. and J. Burns, operators of the largest of the Clyde fleets, decided to concentrate on coastal and transatlantic services and handed control of their river and Highland steamers to a new company in which Hutcheson, their manager of these services, became senior partner, their main route went from Glasgow down the Firth of Clyde through the Crinan Canal to Oban and Fort William, on through the Caledonian Canal to Inverness. David Hutcheson was married to Margaret Dawson, born at her parents home'Bonnytoun House' in Linlithgow.
She was the sister of Adam Dawson who owned the St. Magdalene Whisky Distillery in Linlithgow and sister to James Dawson who were born at'Bonnytoun House'. In 2011 Glasgow historian Robert Pool added over 200 letters and documents to his collection relating to David Hutcheson and the Dawson family; the Caledonian Railway at first used the services of various early private operators of Clyde steamers began operating steamers on its own account on 1 January 1889 to compete better with the North British Railway and the Glasgow and South Western Railway. It extended its line to bypass the G&SW's Prince's Pier at Greenock and continue on to the fishing village of Gourock, where they had purchased the harbour. After years of fierce competition between all the fleets, the Caledonian and G&SW were merged in 1923 into the London and Scottish Railway and their fleets were amalgamated into the Caledonian Steam Packet Company, their funnels were painted yellow with a black top. At the same time the North British Railway fleet became part of the London and North Eastern Railway.
With nationalisation in 1948 the LMS and LNER fleets were amalgamated under British Railways with the name Clyde Shipping Services. In 1957 a reorganisation restored the CSP name, in 1965 a red lion was added to each side of the black-topped yellow funnels; the headquarters remained at Gourock pierhead. At the end of December 1968 management of the CSP passed to the Scottish Transport Group, which gained control of MacBrayne's the following June; the MacBrayne service from Gourock to Ardrishaig ended on 30 September 1969, leaving the Clyde to the CSP. On 1 January 1973 the Caledonian Steam Packet Co. acquired most of the ships and routes of MacBrayne's and commenced joint Clyde and West Highland operations under the new name of Caledonian MacBrayne, with a combined headquarters at Gourock. Funnels were now painted red with a black top, a yellow circle at the side of the funnel featuring the red Caledonian lion. In 1974 a new car ferry service from Gourock to Dunoon was introduced with the ferries MV Jupiter and MV Juno.
In 1990 the ferry business was spun off as a separate company, keeping the Caledonian MacBrayne brand, shares were issued in the company. All shares were owned by the state, first in the person of the Secretary of State for Scotland, by the Scottish Government. A joint venture between Caledonian MacBrayne and the Royal Bank of Scotland named NorthLink Orkney and Shetland Ferries won the tender for the subsidised Northern Isles services run by P&O Scottish Ferries, commencing in 2002; the ambitious programme ran into financial difficulties, the service was again put out to tender. Caledonian MacBrayne won this tender, formed a separate company called NorthLink Ferries Limited which began operating the Northern Isles ferry service on 6 July 2006. On 29 May 2012, NorthLink Ferries Ltd lost the contract for provision of the Northern Isles ferry services to Serco. To meet the requirements of European Union Community guidelines on state aid to maritime transport, the company's routes were put out to open tender.
To enable competitive bidding on an equal basis, Caledonian MacBrayne was split into two separate companies on 1 October 2006. Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited retained ownership of CalMac vessels and infrastructure, including harbours, while CalMac Ferries Ltd submitted tenders to be the ferry operator, their bid for the main bundle and Hebrides Ferry Services, succeeded and on 1 October 2007 CalMac Ferries Ltd began operating these services on a six-year contract. The Gourock to Dunoon service was the subject of a separate tender. In an interim arrangement CalMac Ferries Ltd continued to provide a subsidised service on this route, until 29 June 2011, when Argyll Ferries took over the service. On 14 July 2009, it was announced that CalMac would begin Sunday sailings to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis from Sunday 19 July; these had faced strong opposition from Sabbatarian elements in the Lewis community the Lord's Day Observance Society and the Free Church of Scotland. However, CalMac stated that EU equality legislation made it unlawful to refuse a service to the whole community because of the religious beliefs of a part of it.
The company enjoys a de facto monopoly on the shipment of freight and vehicles to the islands, competes for passenger traffic with number of aircraft services of varying quality and reliability. Nonetheless, few if any of the routes operated by CalMac are profitable, the company receives significant government subsidies due to its vital r
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
Barra is an island in the Outer Hebrides and the second southernmost inhabited island there, after the adjacent island of Vatersay to which it is connected by a short causeway. In 2011, the population was 1,174. Gaelic is spoken, at the 2011 Census, there were 761 Gaelic speakers; the Isle of Barra is 60 km2 in area, 11 miles long and 6 miles wide. A single-track road, the A888, runs around the coast of the southern part of the island following the flattest land and serving the many coastal settlements; the interior of the island here is uninhabited. The west and north of the island has white sandy beaches consisting of sand created from marine shells adjoining the grassed machair, while the south east side has numerous rocky inlets. To the north a sandy pensinsula runs to Eoligarry; the main village is Castlebay in a sheltered bay, where Kisimul Castle sits on a prominent rock not far from shore. This is the main harbour. A smaller medieval tower house, Dun Mhic Leoid, can be found in the middle of Loch St Clare on the west side of the island at Tangasdale.
The highest elevation on the island is Heaval, near the top of, a prominent white marble statue of the Madonna and Child, called "Our Lady of the Sea", erected during the Marian year of 1954. The predominant faith on the island is Catholicism and the Catholic church dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea is apparent to all who arrive at Castlebay. Other places of interest on the island include a ruined church and museum at Cille Bharra, a number of Iron Age brochs such as those at Dùn Chuidhir and An Dùn Bàn, a range of other Iron Age and structures which have been excavated and recorded. Barra is connected by a modern causeway to the smaller island of Vatersay, population 90. During the construction of a road in the 1990s, the discovery of a near-complete pottery beaker dating from 2500BC established that there has been a human presence on Barra since the neolithic era; as well as pottery, a number of stone remains were found, including a neolithic "work platform", which complement the several standing stones scattered around the island.
In the hills to the north of Borve, there is a large chambered cairn, sited in a prominent position. Beyond the main island, a Bronze Age cemetery can be found on Vateray, as well as an Iron Age broch. Remains of Bronze Age burials and Iron Age roundhouses were discovered in sand dunes, near the hamlet of Allasdale, following storms in 2007. Occupation of Barra continued during the Iron Age, as evidenced by the discovery of a wheelhouse from the end of the period, re-occupied between the 3rd and 4th centuries, again in the 7th and 8th centuries. Whoever the occupants were, they were followed in the 9th century by viking settlers, who gave the island at least part of its name; the latter is derived from two elements: Barr and Old Norse ey. Barr may represent the Gaelic personal name Finnbarr. Or it could represent the Old Norse elements berr or barr, or the Celtic element *barr. According to the ancient Grettis saga, the first viking to arrive was named Omund the Wooden-Leg; the Vikings established the Kingdom of the Isles including Barra.
Following Norwegian unification, the Kingdom of the Isles became a crown dependency of the Norwegian king. Malcolm III of Scotland acknowledged in writing that they were not Scottish, king Edgar quitclaimed any residual doubts. In the north of Barra, from this period survived a gravestone, on which a Celtic cross is present on one side, runic inscriptions on the other. However, in the mid 12th century, Somerled, a Norse-Gael of uncertain origin, launched a coup, which made Suðreyjar independent. Following his death, Norwegian authority was nominally restored, but in practice the kingdom was divided between Somerled's heirs, the dynasty that Somerled had deposed. Clann Ruaidhrí, a branch of Somerled's heirs, ruled Barra, as well as Uist, Eigg, Rùm, the Rough Bounds, Bute and northern Jura. In the 13th century, despite Edgar's quitclaim, Scottish forces attempted to conquer parts of Suðreyjar, culminating in the indecisive Battle of Largs. In 1266, the matter was settled by the Treaty of Perth, which transferred the whole of Suðreyjar to Scotland, in exchange for a large sum of money.
The Treaty expressly preserved the status of the rulers of Suðreyjar. In 1293, king John Balliol established the Sheriffdom of Skye. However, following his usurpation, the sheriffdom ceased to be mentioned, the Garmoran lordship was confirmed to Ruaidhrí Mac Ruaidhrí, the head of Clann Ruaidhri. In 1343, King David II issued a further charter to Ruaidhrí's son, but Raghnall's assassination, just three years left Garmoran in the hands of Amy of Garmoran; the southern parts of the Kingdom of the Isles had become the Lordship of the Isles, ruled by the MacDonalds. Amy married the MacDonald leader, John of Islay, but a decade he divorced her, married the king's niece instead; as part of the divorce, John deprived his eldest son, Ranald, of the ability to inheri