The Priest's Glen

Papadil in old Norse, means the Priest's Dale.  A dale is another word for Glen, or Valley, but maybe shorter.  One of the more remote places on Rum, an Island without a road system in the Inner Hebrides.  Papadil is on the south-west coast, around 5 hours walk from the only village of Kinloch.  Around 40 people currently live on Rum.  None currently live at Papadil.



Papadil faces Iona, the notional seat of early Christianity as Scotland was painfully birthed from tribal factions.  According to Irish sources, St. Beccán of Rum, a hermit and academic, may have lived here around 680AD.  Crofting followed, history is vague about exactly how and when, but remains of a  shepherds house, kelp kilns and a church are believed to exist.



Later on, the Island was bought and sold a few times, cleared of all but 1 family by 1826, and finally restocked as a deer hunting estate after the wool market collapsed.  The island may have returned to its Medieval roots, 'good for hunting with few inhabitants'.  For 100 years in the 1800's Rum was known as the Forbidden Isle, whose successive owners were hostile to visitors not on the guest list.  Papadil became the site of a new hunting lodge, built by the Bulloughs.


Lady Monica Bullough took her honeymoon at Papadil, but apparently did not like the lodge.  She sold the island in 1957 for £23,000, £12,000 less than her father-in-law had paid for it in 1888.  Keen as the Good Lady was to see the Island in proper hands, the Nature Conservancy Council were the recipients.


In the first days of the new reservation, it took some time for the 'permit only' culture of the Forbidden Isle to relax.  The NCC suspected that the hunting lodge was used by deer poachers, and so tore off the roof.



Despite this intervention against unwanted visitors, The NCC left imported Victorian rhododendrons intact, to swallow whole the policy woodland the Bulloughs had planted.



Now, Papadil is being eaten by itself.  It's full of Deer ticks, and the lodge is a ruin.  The stove may say 'Invincible' for now, but the rhoddies will consume everything in a few more decades.