In my piece on Ulva, we met the "Father of Australia" Major-General Lachlan MacQuarie, who was born on the island. MacQuarie rears his head again here at Salen, as it was he who established the village at the start of the 19th century, considering the location ideal, being the closest point on the Sound of Mull to his estates. MacQuarie is buried in the MacQuarie Mausoleum two miles from Salen at Gruline. The original community here which predated Macquarie's village was visited by St Columba, who preached here, although he was allegedly disappointed by the turnout. Salen used to be a stopover point on the ferry service from Mull, but Craignure took over as the main ferry port on the island as bigger vessels came into service, rendering the pier at Salen redundant. The pier was in a state of disrepair for a number of years, but has now been restored. There is still a crossing nearby at Fishnish, linking the island to Lochaline on the mainland. Salen does retain one transport link out of the island in the form of the airstrip adjacent to the Glenforsa Hotel. The airstrip, one of the most picturesque in the country, does not have any scheduled services, but acts as an air ambulance evacuation facility. Two miles north of the village lie the ruins of Aros Castle, one of a series of castles built to defend the Sound of Mull in the 1200s. The castle was last occupied in 1608.
Map of the area.
© 2008 Vangobanshee, via Wikimedia Commons