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Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  The Hebrides  /  Isle of Mull  /  Tobermory
(4.2/5 based on 2,000+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: breweries, museums, zoos & aquariums
Tobermory is the capital of, and the only burgh on, the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. It is located in the northeastern part of the island, near the northern entrance of the Sound of Mull. With a current population of approximately 700, the town was founded as a fishing port in 1788, its layout based on the designs of Dumfriesshire engineer Thomas Telford.EtymologyThe name Tobermory is derived from the Gaelic Tobar Mhoire, meaning "Mary's well". The name refers to a well located nearby which was dedicated in ancient times to the Virgin Mary.HistoryLegend has it that the wreck of a Spanish galleon, laden with gold, lies somewhere in the mud at the bottom of Tobermory Bay - although the ship's true identity, and cargo, are in dispute. By some accounts, the Florencia (or Florida, or San Francisco), a member of the defeated Spanish Armada fleeing the English fleet in 1588, anchored in Tobermory to take on provisions. Following a dispute over payment (or possibly, according to local folklore, a spell cast by the witch Dòideag), the ship caught fire and the gunpowder magazine exploded, sinking the vessel. In her hold, reputedly, was £300,000 in gold bullion. Other sources claim the vessel was the San Juan de Sicilia (or San Juan de Baptista), which, records indicate, carried troops, not treasure. Whatever the true story, no significant treasure has ever been recovered in Tobermory Bay. The largest attempt made to locate the galleon was in 1950 when the then Duke of Argyll signed a contract with the British Admiralty to locate the galleon. Nothing came of the attempt, even though it led to the development of items used today to locate ancient sunk vessels.
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