During the mid 19th century, the area became densely populated when many of the people, cleared from other areas of Mull, were settled in Ardtun. The 1861 census states that Ardtun, despite having the poorest soil, was one of the most densely populated areas in the Ross, with a population of 346 people. They were crofters and cottars, supplementing their incomes at various times with other industries such as weaving, kelp processing and shoemaking.
The land hosts a great variety of wildflowers and bird life to be seen over a wide range of habitats. Much of the area is made up from peat and glacial desposits; the north western coastline is pocketed with caves and gullies, between colums and sheer cliffs of basalt. Part of the peninsula has been classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest as it includes one of Scotland's geological gems, the Leaf Beds of Ardtun.
The Ross of Mull is an extraordinary microcosm of all that draws visitors to the Hebridean Islands. The scenery, as you travel along the single-track road from the ferry at Craignure is breath-taking. You experience in the many walks in the area a true sense of wilderness; the secret bays with their beaches of silvery sand, the abundance of wildlife and the innumerable marks on the landscape of the lives of past generations and communities long gone. The Ross of Mull is a compelling place for anyone fascinated by history and the ancient way of life of the Gaelic people.