Cullipool is City/Area of Argyll and Bute, Latitude: 56.2561, Longitude: -5.65125

Cullipool   Cullipool is the largest village on on Luing and lies towards the northern end of its west side.

Cullipool is the largest village on on Luing and lies towards the northern end of its west side. Like other villages in the Slate Islands it owes its existence and growth to the quarrying of the slate on which large parts of the islands are built.

You reach Cullipool by turning right at a junction about a mile south of the terminus for the ferry service linking Luing with Seil. The road passes Luing Stores, the island’s only shop, before reaching the coast and turning right. It then leads past Cullipool’s harbour before entering the village itself. Cullipool comprises a collection of white harled cottages, most in rows, on land squeezed between rising ground to the east and the black slate shoreline to the east.

Immediately to the south of the main part of the village is a large water-filled slate quarry, with some of the houses seeming to cling to its very edge. Beyond the north end of the village is evidence of more slate quarrying, both carved into the side of the high ground as it approaches the sea and into the ground itself. Quarrying to the north of the village lasted until 1965, probably the last commercial slate quarrying to take place anywhere in the Slate Islands.

Today Cullipool is a quiet conservation village. The white uniformity of most of the buildings gives a very pleasant feel, as well as a striking contrast to the dark slate that is found everywhere here.

The church on the hillside above the village is today a private house, Luing’s only active church now being found in the centre of the island. But taking the grassy path part way up to it, then heading off along the skyline to the right, brings you to a wonderful viewpoint overlooking the village. Here you can appreciate the slightly random alignment of the rows of cottages below.

In times past, Cullipool was also the means of access to the least known and smallest of the Slate Islands, Belnahua, a mile offshore. This was just large enough to accommodate a deep slate quarry in the centre of the island, surrounded by a few workers’ cottages. The advent of the first world war left the island with no men of working age, and the few remaining residents were evacuated to Luing. Belnahua has remained uninhabited ever since.

Close to Belnahua in views from Cullipool is the even smaller island of Fladda, home to a lighthouse whose accommodation now forms a private holiday home.

Houses and Quarry: The House in the Foreground of the
Header Picture Taken from the South of the Quarry

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