A place of legend, mystery and the bizarre- Library of Mu

Library of Mu record:
Title: A place of legend, mystery and the bizarre
Date: 16 August, 1999
Journal: Daily Record
Author: Donna White
Type of resource: Features
Status: text
No. views: 1863
Description: Short feature on the Isle of Jura, mentions the money burning

A place of legend, mystery and the bizarre

By Donna White (16 August, 1999, Daily Record)

IT covers an area the size of Glasgow, but just 198 people live there.

However, despite its sparse population, the Isle of Jura is no stranger to wierd goings-on.

According to legend, a lovelorn Viking chieftain called Breckan was one of the first to discover Jura's capacity to surprise.

He fell for a local girl and was promised her hand if he proved his manhood by anchoring his longship in a fierce whirlpool between Jura and Mull.

He equipped his boat with a rope of hemp, a rope of wool and one woven from the hair of virgins - their innocence was supposed to give it the power to resist the force of waves.

But the boat capsized and he drowned. His name lives on in the whirlpool known as Corrievreckan - the cauldron of Breckan.

More recently, Jura was home to a forbidden royal romance in the 1880s when King Edward VII secretly met his girlfriend, stage star Lillie Langtry, on the island.

In the late 1940s, author George Orwell penned his futuristic novel 1984 there. But he, his son and two friends almost met the same fate as Breckan when their small boat capsized on a sailing trip.

Pop group KLF added to Jura's mysterious image in 1992 when band members Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond claimed to have burned a pounds 1million fortune in an isolated farm house.

The bizarre ritual, which the stars said "challenged the value of money", took place on a balmy night known as Oidhch Mherranch - the Night of Madness.

Charred pounds 50 notes were later found on the island and God- fearing locals handed the money over to police.

Jura - the name comes from the Norse and means deer island - is 27 miles long and six miles wide and has just one single-track road.

Its residents include some of the wealthiest people in Britain.

Viscount Astor owns a 19,500-acre estate, Lord Vestey has 6400 acres of forests and Lord Sandys is another major landowner.


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