History of Yellow Rock

dougie-lilyYellow Rock Cottage is owned by Christine Logan, a tour guide on the island under the name Lady of the Isles. Christine is the daughter of the late Lily MacDougall, she was locally known as Lily Fish, and Dougie MacDougall, her late father.

Yellow Rock was built prior to 1871 by Christine’s great grandfather and is the home where her late father was born. Like his father before him he served as boatman with the Lighthouse Board and retired after 45 years. The flag pole in front of the house still exists where they would signal with the keepers of Rhuvaal lighthouse on the Sound of Islay. At that time the pole’s position was high on a hill at the back of the house and aptly called Cnoc a’phole but after the introduction of the telephone it was repositioned on the shore in front of the house.

Christine’s father Dougie was a keen writer and he wrote two booklets “As long as water flows” and “Still Water’s Run Deep.” In between the many lovely stories is one titled “Dougie’s House and Wildlife” written some 30 years ago: “The view from the house is second to none for there, right across, a mile distant, is the Sound of Islay with the Paps of Jura adding to the scenery. It is a very busy Sound with shipping – They pass quite close night and day on their lawful business. The britannia has passed through many a time with its escort keeping guard over her at all times. There are quite a lot of foreign ships passing through, such as Danish, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, French and some of the fleets of different nations are seen going through. Fishing boats, big and small take advantage of the Sound for they want to avoid the rough weather off the west coast of Islay.”

“From my window you can see and hear the wild bird life. It is really a part of one’s living with nature. Firstly, there are the seagulls, heron, oyster catchers, cormorant, ducks, tern, sand pipers and many other species which haunt the shore in search of a livelihood. In the early morning you are wakened by the screaming seagulls, wheeling about, or else by the screeching of oyster catchers as they hop about from rock to rock in search of a tasty breakfast. The otters come in quite close, swimming, diving and most times climb onto the rocks in front of the house to devour their catch. They seem to be quite friendly, for sometimes they come in so close that our pet cat would dearly like to play with one.”

You can read more stories from Dougie on the Islay Blog