Isleornsay Inn




Ardvasar Aird a bhasair

A township of three crofts – one for the ferryman, one for the blacksmith and one for the innkeeper.

The inn was built in the early 19th century to replace the old change house that was here.

The smithy was moved to Ardvasar from the vicinity of Mill Bridge, Armadale in the early 19th century, when the Parliamentary road was constructed along the shore. It was originally where the school is now, but was re-sited when the school was built in 1878. For more information on the smithy click here.

A row of houses described in the estate archives as “workmen’s houses” was built here in the late 19th century. They are known as the Red Houses. At one time one of them was used as the local poor house. Another part of this row of houses was used as a salt store by Johnston & Co who rented the local salmon fishery from Lord Macdonald. The local Reading Room was also here.

The Kennedy family ran Ardvasar shop for almost a century, from the end of the 19th century until 1978.

Ardvasar church and manse were originally built for the local United Free Church congregation in 1910. When the UF church merged with the Church of Scotland in 1929, the church became a mission church for the Ardvasar area. Both church and manse were sold in the 1980s, and are now private houses.

A village hall was built on the ferryman’s croft in the 1920s. It was the venue for concerts and ceilidhs, film shows, SWRI meetings and other community activities. A new hall was built in 1960 between the Red Houses and the old manse. It was refurbished and extended in the 1990s after a local fund raising programme.

A post office was established here in 1863. There were several sites for the actual office. The hotel had a letterbox in the wall. It was found by builders renovating the hotel in the 1970s. Later the post office was sited beside the shop. Later again it moved up the hill to Calligarry, being first in the tin building at Newton, then at Hazelbank and finally (in 2007) it is in the house known as Homeleigh.

In the days before the regular MacBrayne’s steamer service, the ferry to Arisaig used to leave from Ardvasar.

Ardvasar bay fishing boats