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whats there | the White Island the last home of Gavin Maxwell

 

The Eilean Ban Trust / Brightwater Centre.

Eilean Ban - the white island - was the last home of Gavin Maxwell. He had owned the island since the early '60s and had his friend, Richard Frere convert the two lightkeepers cottages into one luxury house. After the destruction by fire of "Camusfearna" at Sandaig, he moved to Eilean Ban where he planned to build a private zoo, stocked with the indigenous birds and mammals of the West Highlands of Scotland. Maxwell died before the project could be properly started and it is only now that his vision is being (partly) fulfilled.

The Eilean Ban Trust (A joint project between the Kyleakin community and the Born Free Foundation) secured a long term lease agreement with the Scottish Office, who now, because of the Skye road bridge, (which passes over it), own the six acre island. The aim of the trust is to bring the island back into community ownership, and to instigate a program of environmental and conservation measures to benefit the many species that inhabit the island.

The Trust have opened the Brightwater visitor centre in Kyleakin which will give people an opportunity to learn about Eilean Ban and the surrounding area. Outside the centre is a sculpture representing Teko the last of Maxwell's otters who is buried on the island. It was created and donated to the trust by Laurence Broderick.

On Eilean Ban the trust have restored the lighthouse keepers house to a habitable standard and it is now occupied by the Trust's warden. The forty foot, long room, with its dramatic views down Loch Alsh, has been recreated using many of Maxwell's original furnishings.

The trust have constructed nature trails around the island, together with an award winning wildlife hide and a sensory garden ensuring that there's plenty of things for visitors to do and see on the island.

Additional Information:

Link to YouTube video of the Skye Bridge and Eilean Ban

Link to Wikipedia information on the Skye Bridge

Location:

Brightwater Centre, Kyleakin: 57.2734; -5.7256

Eilean Ban (The White Island): 57.2784; -5.7404

The Brightwater Centre at Kyleakin

 

The Skye Bridge crossing Eilean Ban

 

Access path from the pier to the Lighthouse Cottages

 

Bothy on Eilean Ban now dwarfed by the Skye Bridge

 

Lighthouse on Eilean Ban - The White Island

 

Route of the Skye Bridge as it crosses Eilean Ban -The White Island

 

Memorial to Teko outside the Brightwater Centre at Kyleakin

 

The Longroom has been recreated to reflect the life of Gavin Maxwell