The village sits on the shores of Loch na Lathaich, Loch of the Soft Clay, a sea loch with an entrance to the north. In 1782 severe frost and early snow ruined the corn and potato crops in the area and several tenants were unable to pay their rent. Many went to the lowlands to seek work as they often did in the summer. Bunessan was planned by the 5th Duke of Argyll as a fishing village with a livelihood for about 30 crofter-fishermen with the ground to the east of Bunessan being allocated in strips for cultivation. In 1804, the Church of Scotland built a new church for the community and Bunessan became the main commercial centre for the Ross of Mull. By 1845 Bunessan had a population of 250 people and 5 shops or General Dealers. Cattle Markets were held twice yearly in May and October.
The Ross of Mull is an extraordinary microcosm of all that draws visitors to the Hebridean Islands. The scenery, as you travel along the single-track road from the ferry at Craignure is breath-taking. You experience in the many walks in the area a true sense of wilderness; the secret bays with their beaches of silvery sand, the abundance of wildlife and the innumerable marks on the landscape of the lives of past generations and communities long gone. The Ross of Mull is a compelling place for anyone fascinated by history and the ancient way of life of the Gaelic people.
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