The Fine Distilleries of Port Ellen
Walter Frederick Campbell founded Port Ellen in the year 1821 and named the town in honor of his wife. It is an important deep-water harbor for the Isle of Islay and also has a ferry terminal. It is a quaint and tranquil destination in Scotland and is mostly known for the role it played in the distillery industry and for its beautiful beaches.
The village of Port Ellen is made up of a few stone structures, but mostly consists of wooden homes and cottages. East of Port Ellen lies the reason that this small village is amongst the popular destinations in Scotland, the distilleries. Even though Ardbeg Distillery has come into use again, the remnants of the old Lagavulin and Laphroaig Distilleries stand silently in memory of an industry that gave the Islay worth and importance during their existence.
The Port Ellen Distillery was established Alexander Mackay in the year 1825. John Ramsay bought the distillery in 1836 and by 1920 the distillery had once again changed owners, to the Distillers Company Limited. The distillery produced the Port Ellen Single Malt, an Islay Scotch Whiskey. By 1987, the distillery closed down and now only supplies malting. The Port Ellen Single Malt is steadily becoming a collectible whiskey, due to the mothballing of the distillery.
The War Memorial that was erected in memory of those who lost their lives in the Port Ellen Marina and both world wars is a noteworthy site to visit. In nearby Bowmore, visitors can enjoy the swimming facilities, with tennis courts being available in Port Ellen. Divers often refer to Port Ellen as a significant diving destination in Scotland, due to the abundance of shipwrecks that came to rest just off the coast of the Isle of Islay and golfers can relax on the greens in Machrie. The ruins of the Dunyvaig Castle are still visible and are located near Lagavulin Bay. It once was the residence of the MacDonald Lords of the Isles, but was a castle that was besieged many times before its destruction in 1677, by the Campbell Lairds of Islay.
Port Ellen is a beautiful village with much to see and many attractions. The historical sights and breathtaking landscapes and views, makes Port Ellen a worthy and spectacular Scottish destination.