Here are some of the curious facts about Eilean Subhainn’s more illustrious neighbour
Like the loch, it is named after Saint Maelrubha, an Irish monk who founded the abbey at Applecross and, it is believed, lived in a hermitage on the island in the 8th century.
Isle Maree contains stands of ancient oak, holly and other trees not found on Loch Maree’s other islands. It has a stone-walled graveyard within its wooded interior. The last burial there was in 1925 when the island became the final resting place of Alexander Robertson, the owner of the Loch Maree Hotel on the loch’s southern shore who killed himself after eight of his guests died as a result of eating contaminated duck pâté from the hotel’s kitchen.
Two graves are said to be those of the Viking Prince Olaf and his princess. Legend has it that the princess faked her death to test Olaf’s love. Believing his love to have perished, he killed himself. And when the princess realised what she had done, she also took her own life.
An oak wish tree, and others surrounding it, are covered with hammered-in coins. The original tree was visited by Queen Victoria in 1877 (a fact included in her published diaries), but died some decades ago from copper poisoning.
In the 17th century there were shocking reports of several pagan rituals. Records show that bulls were sacrificed openly up until the 18th century.
It was believed that being towed round the island behind a boat was a cure for madness.
Superstition asserts that nothing must ever be taken from the island, not a stone, not a leaf, not a twig — nothing, lest the lunacy previously cured by the waters is once more returned to the world.