Resources - Books




There is a lot of material in print varying from highly technical papers published in scientific journals, to easier to read stuff for the layman.



  • The Isle of Mull by P A Macnab. Written by a native of these islands, this book, in the David & Charles "Islands" series contains a lot of geological information as well as being a good account of the Island itself. Rather out of date now (1970), but still worth reading - the geology hasn't changed much since then!


  • Mull in the Making. By Ros Jones. An excellent little book and a great introduction to the geology of Mull. If you don't know Mull and want to get started, this is for you.


  • British Regional Geology - The Tertiary Igneous Districts. Much more technical but very thorough. Covers not just Mull but Arran, Skye, Ardnamurchan etc. Shows Mull in the overall scheme of the British Tertiary Igneous Province. This has now been superseded by the 4 Edition called:


  • The Palaeogene Volcanic Districts of Scotland. Published in 2005 and very up to date. Essential reading for the serious amateur and students. This is the 4th edition of the Regional Guides of the BGS.


  • Memoirs of the Geological Survey. Classic works of immense scholarship. These guys were good! For the professional or keen amateur who really wants to know what is going on. There are five Memoirs which relate to the area:


    • Tertiary and post-tertiary geology of Mull, Loch Aline and Oban (covers most of the Island. Very thorough)


    • The Geology of Ardnamurchan, North-west. Mull and Coll (Covers the northern parts of Mull)


    • The Geology of Staffa, Iona & Western Mull (Available as an A4 reprint from the BGS, the title says it all)


    • The pre Tertiary Geology of Mull, Lochaline and Oban, Lee and Bailey, 1925.  (Available as an A4 reprint from the BGS)


    • The geology of Colonsay and Oronsay,: With part of the Ross of Mull. (Explanation of sheet 35, with part of 27.) 1911 (Scotland. Geological survey. Memoirs. Explanation of sheet 35) (Available as an A4 reprint from the BGS)


    Note: the A4 reprints are for memoirs that are no longer published in the bound book form. Original copies of these memoirs can be found second hand but they are expensive. If you see one going cheap in a second hand bookshop, buy it! Also, it is worth mentioning that the A4 reprint service that the BGS offers for the out of print memoirs is highly recommended. Field Trips the Sales Desk for your requirements.



  • Mull & Iona - A Landscape fashioned by Geology. Recently published by SNH, this is an excellent little guide to the geology of these islands. It is easy to follow and beautifully illustrated. One in a series of several "Landscape fashioned by Geology" . Out of print and no longer available direct from SNH although other retailers may have it. However, it IS available as a PDF download:


  • The Geologists Association Itinerary guide to Mull. By Ray Skelhorn et al. A great little book, officially out of print,  but still made available by arrangement between the GA and "Tackle & Books" in Tobermory. Original copies can be easily picked up through NB: These can be expensive!


  • Let's look at Scottish Gemstones. A great little book by the late Jock Nimlin who was an expert on Mull agates. Very readable in a popular style. Out of print but readily available from


  • Minerals of Scotland by Alex Livingstone. Another fairly recent book (2002) it gives information about certain Mull minerals. It gives good detailed information on the history of Scottish mineralogy and details of individual collectors.


  • Geology of Iona. A little booklet published by the Iona Community which gives a good overview of Iona's geology.


  • Mineralogy of Scotland. Matthew Heddle's masterpiece. Heddle of course discovered Tobermorite. An exceptional piece of work by the greatest mineral collector ever. Should be in your University library. If not, copies on ABE Books  ( go for around $1000! However, it is available as a download in electronic format: go to and do a search for it. Both volumes are listed! I'd still rather have the real thing though! Update Sept 2016: Several booksellers on Abebooks are offering this as a "print on demand" soft cover reprint of the original at reasonable prices. Worth a look.