Tobermory, Isle of Mull | C.1788

Photo Credit: Accidentally Wes Anderson


Though on the surface the coastal town of Tobermory is compact and unassuming, it’s rich with “golden” history. According to local lore, a 16th century shipwreck full of treasure lies under the deep waters of its harbor. 

While many believe in the existence of the shipwreck, there’s a dispute in the details. According to one tale, a galleon from the Spanish Armada, the San Juan de Sicilia,  happened upon Tobermory in 1588. An argument with locals occurred (or a druid’s spell was cast, depends on who you ask), and the ship caught fire and sunk with $350,000 in gold bullion still in its hold. Another anecdote describes the ship as only carrying soldiers and arms—-though neither legendary ship has ever been located. 

The unknown nature of the shipwreck’s cargo hold have led to numerous expeditions over the centuries, but the mystery still lies in Tobermory’s watery depths. The latest search was carried out by the 13th Duke of Argyll in 2014, his fourth attempt during his tenure as a lord. Some Spanish artifacts were found and identified, but nothing close to the legendary stacks of golden bullion. 

While any treasure is yet to be found, one can confirm Tobermory is abundant with liquid gold, thanks to the town’s whisky distillery. We’ll cheers to that. 

Written By: Seamus McMahon

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