Port Ellen

Port Ellen (Scottish Gaelic: Port Ìlein) is a small town on the island of Islay, in Argyll, Scotland. The town is named after the wife of the founder, Frederick Campbell of Islay. Its previous name, Leòdamas, is derived from old Norse meaning "Leòd's Harbour".

Port Ellen

Port Ellen
Port Ellen
Location within Argyll and Bute
OS grid referenceNR365455
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtPA42
Dialling code01496
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament

Port Ellen is built around Leodamais Bay, Islay's main deep water harbour. It is the largest town on Islay, only slightly larger than Bowmore and provides the main ferry connection between Islay and the mainland, at Kennacraig. The Port Ellen Distillery was first established in the 1820s and ceased production of Scotch whisky in 1983. The large malting continues to produce for the majority of the distilleries on Islay.[1][2]


The area around Port Ellen has a variety of archaeological sites covering the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age periods. There are standing stones at Kilbride, a fort at Borraichill Mor, several chambered cairns, and a chapel at Cill Tobar Lasrach.[1] Nearby lie the ruined remains of the 14th-century Dunyvaig Castle, once a fortress of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles.[3]

Ferry Service

Preceding station   Ferry   Following station
Terminus   Caledonian MacBrayne
Islay Ferry
Terminus   Kintyre Express
April to October

Notable people

George Robertson, Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, Labour politician and former Secretary General of NATO was born in Port Ellen[4] on 12 April 1946.


  1. "Port Ellen". Isle of Islay. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  2. "Port Ellen Distillery". Islay Whisky. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  3. "Port Ellen". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  4. "George Robertson, Baron Robertson of Port Ellen". Biographicon.com. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
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