Minerals of Scotland

Mineral Collecting Localities

Mineral Collecting Localities
of the Tertiary Basalt Lavas.



Skye Main

Location Photo Galleries

Moonen Bay

Talisker Bay

Sgurr nam Boc

The Quiraing, Edinbane

The Storr, Oisgill Bay

Sgurr nam Cearcall,
Sgurr nam Fiadh

Mineral Photo Galleries

analcime - chabazite - cowlesite - erionite - heulandite

laumontite - stilbite - mordenite - natrolite - thomsonite - stellerite

apophyllite - gyrolite - offretite - levyne - mesolite

calcite - Skye marble - prehnite - talc - quartz- clinohumite - zircon



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The Storr

(photo courtesy D. McCallum/ M. Wood).

More individual and localised effects of erosion have created the most impressive natural features to be seen on the island. These include The Quiraing, Kilt Rock and perhaps the most well-known of all, The Storr and it's "Old Man".

The Storr is an escarpment composed of Tertiary basalt lavas resting on Jurassic sediments - primarily shales. At its base is a malaise of rocks and pinnacles, including The Old Man of Storr which rises alone, casting an element of mystery to the general scene.

Minerals recorded from The Storr include: analcime, apophyllite-(KOH), calcite, chabazite, chlorite, garronite, gyrolite, heulandite, laumontite, levynite, mesolite, offretite/ erionite, quartz, scolecite, stilbite, thomsonite.

THE STORR - A view of cliff face & rock scree slopes.

The Storr area is readily accessible from Portree (A855), the main centre on the island. It is about 6 miles to the north of the town. The location, with its basaltic ridge and cliffs, is impressive, as is the rock pinnacle called "The Old Man of Storr". This isolated, obelisk-like, pointed rock rises about 150-160 feet from the surface.

This area is a classic and well-trodden collecting site on the island. Consequently, specimen quality is variable. Nevertheless, there is material of interest to collect.

The Storr is the type locality for gyrolite, a calcium silicate mineral species commonly found associated with zeolite minerals. Near Portree itself is the type locality for the uncommon silicate, tacharanite, a name of Gaelic origin, and a mineral which is also normally found in volcanic rocks.

THE STORR - "The Old Man of Storr".

THE STORR - A general panorama of the rock-strewn surface and pinnacles at The Storr.

THE STORR - A Panoramic View.
View of the escarpment & the pinnacle - "The Old Man".

APOPHYLLITE - The Storr, Isle of Skye.

Semi-transparent, prismatic crystals to c.5mms resting on tiny sprays of thomsonite. (F. Frattini specimen).

GYROLITE - The Storr, Isle of Skye.

A ball-like group of gyrolite plates with glassy apophyllite,
resting on globular aggregates of thomsonite. (F. Frattini specimen).

Isle of Skye - Geology & Geomorphology
An Introduction

The Tertiary lava flows on the Island of Skye are generally only a few meters thick, and attain a maximum of around 35 meters. However, the overall thickness of the flows is great. They are the weathered remnants of what once covered a much wider area.

The geomorphology of northern Skye is the result of erosion, both past and present, on these Tertiary volcanic lavas and also, in some cases, on the underlying Jurassic sediments.

A variation in the nature of the flows, such as slaggy surfaces in some and columnar jointing in others, along with the occurence of dykes and sills (also part of the volcanic episode), have combined with erosional processes to render a step-like landscape.


For permission to publish their photographs and for making this page possible,
this website wishes to thank Fabrizio Frattini, David McCallum & Mike Wood.

Minerals of Scotland.