Bruichladdich Feature Page
From Brigend to Bruichladdich
From Bridgend the road to Bruichladdich takes you past the walls of the Islay House grounds on your right and the cattle market on the left. The road follows the lovely shore of Loch Indaal with numerous places to pull off the road and stop to enjoy the magnificent views and abundant wildlife. Parts of this road take you over raised beaches, remains from the last ice age, and still rising today. Halfway, near Uiskentuie, is a gravel bank stretching out into the sea for almost hundred metres called 'The Spit'. This is the most northern part of Loch Indaal and an excellent place to explore the beach and look for lovely shells. The grass-lands were once a nine-hole golf course. Close to Uiskentuie farm is a large standing stone on the right side of the road, dating back to the Bronze Age. A few kilometres before reaching Bruichladdich is a single track road on the right that takes you to Islay's Atlantic west coast with its beautiful Machir and Saligo bays. Just before Bruichladdich, on the side of the road in the fields beyond Lochgorm House, are the remains of an old chapel called Eaglais Iolarain, said to be dedicated to St. Hilary.
Bruichladdich is a distillery village built around the Bruichladdich Distillery. The distillery was built in 1881 by the brothers Robert William and John Gourlay Harvey. At the time, the distillery was state-of-the-art and the equipment continues to be used mostly unchanged. Unlike other distilleries, which were often built from old farm houses, these buildings were erected specifically for this purpose. The distillery complex was built from stone from the seashore and has a very efficient layout. Under previous ownership the distillery closed in 1994 and re-opened in 2000 and is proving to be very succesful with Jim McEwan as the master distiller. Since the re-opening of the distillery, webcams are installed which allow the internet visitor a look into the Victorian distillery. Two other webcams look over Loch Indaal towards the Paps of Jura and the South West. One of these webcams is also pointed directly towards the parking place opposite the distillery, used for the lorries when they enter the distillery. Some people use this parking place to call their friends or relatives so they can see them over the internet.
Bruichladdich and Pier
The recently renovated pier, not very popular with the local folk, is worth a visit and offers wonderful views towards Bruichladdich and the Rhinns. Nowadays the pier is used for oil tankers which supply fuel oil for houses, farms and the distilleries, distributed by Gleaner Oils. In the early days the concrete pier was used to unship barley which was then transferred to the distillery by horse and cart and off-loaded to the Barley loft. This was done by tying the sacks to a rope which was looped through a pulley block, and the other end attached to a horse which when moved forward, pulling the sack up to the level of the loft opening. Bruichladdich has a very well equipped shop called Debbies Mini Market. Debbie sells the best cup of coffee on Islay, sells fresh and natural foods and the shop also acts as local post office. At Bruichladdich pierhead you can find the former building of Islay Studios which was featured as a pub in the movie The Maggie.
Bruichladdich Local Information: Pictures of Bruichladdich in the Islay Gallery
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