Historic Scotland is currently consulting with the owners of part of Easdale Island, Argyll and Bute, and the local community over a proposal to schedule the surviving elements of the island’s slate quarrying heritage as a monument of national importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
The Easdale quarries and associated remains represent an important part of Scotland’s industrial heritage. Easdale gave its name to the distinctive blue-black roofing slate that was produced on the ‘slate islands’ in enormous quantities in the 18th and 19th centuries and reached many parts of the globe. It was also used to roof many of Scotland’s historic buildings. Important and evocative remains of the slate industry survive across the island today, including the quarries themselves, the remains of trackways and tramways for transporting the slate to waiting vessels, other infrastructure and massive quantities of waste slate. The slate resources of Easdale are no longer viable, but they form an important part of the island’s character and its attraction for visitors – not least through the annual World Stone Skimming Championships which take place in the Easdale quarries.
Consultation over the proposed scheduling is continuing as Historic Scotland wishes to ensure that the issues are fully aired before it makes a final decision.