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Fingal's Cave, Staffa, 1772 f. 23

Fingal's Cave, Staffa, 1772 f. 23

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Shelfmark: Additional MS 15510

Item number: f. 23

Length: 21.7

Width: 28.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

View of the Basaltick Columns & Causeway on the Island of Staffa taken from the sea, showing "the mouth of Fingals Cave [and] the small island Booshala [and] small half formed pillars in the upper stratum", draw in 1774 after a voyage in 1772. The island of Staffa is situated between the west coast of Mull and the Treshnish Islands and is well known for its caves and hexagonal basalt columns. The basalt columns are the result of volcanic activity although one legend holds that they were formed by a giant who had brought a segment of the giants causeway from Ireland as a gift for his wife but a small piece fell out as he travelled home to Scotland. The unusual island is also known for its 5 caves of which Fingal’s cave is the largest. The cave's Gaelic name is An Uamh Binn which means 'The Melodious Cave' and it is thought Mendelsohnn composed 'The Fingal's Cave Overture' in 1832 after visiting the island.

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