The history of the Isle of Arran is simply fascinating, with the peace and tranquility associated with the island today, a far cry from relentless invasions, battles and feuds endured down the centuries by its Gaelic speaking inhabitants.

Arran's rich and colourful heritage dates back over 9,000 years. Its chambered cairns, standing stones, and stone circles (including those on Machrie Moor), are evidence of some of the early occupants. In the 6th Century, Arran, colonised from Ireland, was a part of Dalriada. Christianity had arrived and Saint Molaise lived in a cave on the Holy Isle.

From around 800AD Arran was repeatedly attacked and conquered by the Vikings, with the native Gaelic language increasingly being mingled with Norse. However, following the Battle of Largs in 1263, the King of Norway sold Arran to the Scottish Crown, believing that the Scots had made use of Black Magic to aid their victory. As the years passed, the Stewarts, the MacDonalds, and the English all contested claims to possess the land.

During the Highland Clearances of the 19th century, many islanders set sail for North America, Australia and New Zealand.This marked the beginning of the end of the Gaelic language and way of life. Although Gaelic was still spoken widely on Arran in the early 20th century, as the island began to build a reputation as a holiday destination for English speaking tourists, the use of Gaelic steadily declined. The last native speakers of Arran Gaelic died in the 1990s.

Today the Arran islanders make up a population of 4,650 and are well known for their character, hospitality and enormous sense of community.


Tha eachdraidh Eilean Arainn gu math inntinneach, leis an t-sìth is an fhois an lùib an eilein an-diugh, fada bhon na h-ionnsaidhean, na cathan agus an fhalachd a dh'fhuiling Gàidheil an àite fad nan linntean.

Tha dualchas saidhbhir Arainn a' dol air ais còrr is 9,000 bliadhna. Tha na cùirn sheòmrach ann, na tursachan agus na cearcaill-chlach ann (an fheadhainn air Mòinteach a' Mhachaire nam measg) mar fhianais air an fheadhainn a thuinich ann an toiseach. San 6mh linn, bha Arainn, le luchd- tuineachaidh à Èirinn ann, na phàirt de Dhàl Riata, bha an Creideamh Crìosdaidh air nochdadh ann agus bha an Naomh MoLaise a' fuireach ann an uaimh air Eilean MoLaise.

Bho mu 800AD chaidh Arainn a bhualadh gu tric agus a ghabhail thairis leis na Lochlannaich, le Gàidhlig dhùthchasach an àite a' dol an lùib Lochlannais barrachd is barrachd. An dèidh Blàr nan Leargaidh Gallta ann an 1263, ge-tà, reic Rìgh Nirribhidh Arainn ri Crùn na h-Alba, agus e den bheachd gun do chleachd na h-Albannaich an Sgoil Dhubh mar thaic ris a' bhuaidh aca. Mar a chaidh na bliadhnaichean seachad, chaidh na Stiùbhartaich, na Dòmhnallaich agus na Sasannaich oidhirp gus am fearann a ghabhail an seilbh.

Ri linn Fuadaichean nan Gàidheal san 19mh linn, thug mòran de mhuinntir an eilein orra gu Ameireagaidh a Tuath, Astràilia agus Sealainn Nuadh. Chomharraich seo toiseach deireadh na Gàidhlig agus na dòigh-beatha. Ged a bha Gàidhlig fhathast ga labhairt gu farsaing tràth san fhicheadamh linn, a rèir mar a dh'fhàs fèill air an eilean mar àite luchd-turais na Beurla, thàinig crìonadh air cleachdadh na Gàidhlig beag air bheag. Chaochail an fheadhainn mu dheireadh aig an robh Gàidhlig Arainn bho dhùthchas sna 1990an.

An-diugh tha 4,650 de shluagh a' fuireach ann an Arainn agus cliù orra airson an cuid fialaidheachd is farsaingeachd agus a bhith gu math mothachail air coimhearsnachd.

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