In the Middle Ages the MacDonalds ruled the Hebrides and large areas of the west coast of Scotland as Lords of the Isles. Many other families, including MacLeans, MacLeods and Macneils supported the Lords and grew in strength under the Lordship.
The centre of the Lordship was at Finlaggan on the island of Islay. Here the National Museums of Scotland have been undertaking archaeological excavations in cooperation with the Finlaggan Trust. A six year programme has just been completed and funding is urgently required for further work on the Council Island. Excavation of the midden deposits adjacent to the island will provide much information on the feasts held by the Lords, the medieval economy and vegetation.