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Little Cumbrae ( ) is an island in the Firth of Clydemarker, in North Ayrshire, Scotlandmarker. The island is known locally as Wee Cumbrae.



Etymology

Cumbrae (and its Gaelic equivalent Cumaradh), the common element of both Great Cumbraemarker and Little Cumbrae shares the same root as Cymry ("Britons"). It is a reference to the old Brythonic inhabitants of Strathclyde.

Geography

Little Cumbrae lies barely a kilometre to the south of its larger neighbour, Great Cumbraemarker. The islands are collectively referred to as The Cumbraesmarker. In stark contrast to its neighbour, green and fertile Great Cumbraemarker, Little Cumbrae is a rough and rocky island. With its many cliffs and rocky outcrops, Little Cumbrae bears more of a resemblance to a Hebrideanmarker island than to some of its neighbours in the Clyde.

A number of uninhabited islets skirt the island's east coast, Castle Islemarker, the Broad Islands and Trail Isle.

Today the island's main settlement is at Little Cumbrae House on the eastern shore, facing the Scottish mainland.

History

Robert II is said to have built a castle on the island which was demolished by Cromwell's soldiers in 1653.

Little Cumbrae was privately purchased in 2003 and there were plans for its development as a memorial park, nature reserve and corporate escape, but the island was sold again in July 2009 for £2 million. The buyers of the island, Scottish millionaire couple of Indian extraction, Sarwan and Sunita Poddar, opened there a yoga and meditation centre with the help of yoga guru Swami Baba Ramdev . There have also been rumours of the new owners planning to rename it "Peace Island", but those have been denied.

Lighthouse

Cumbrae Lighthouse was built in 1793 by Thomas Smith who was under commission from the Commissioners of the Northern Lights. The lighthouse lies on a broad raised beach on the western shore of the island looking out into the Firth.

Prior to the creation of the lighthouse, Little Cumbrae had an open fire light atop Lighthouse Hill. This extremely old structure can still be seen.

Footnotes




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