Parish of Lochgoilhead and Kilmorich

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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1791-99: Lochgoil-Head and Kilmorich
1834-45: Lochgoil-Head and Kilmorich (Appendix)
1834-45: Lochgoil-Head and Kilmorich

Kilmorich, an ancient parish in Cowal district, Argyllshire, now incorporated with Lochgoilhead parish. Its church (800 sittings) is still in use, and stands at Cairndow, 9¾ miles NE of Inveraray.

Lochgoilhead, a village and a parish in Cowal district, Argyllshire. The village, at the head of salt-water Loch Goil (6 miles x 2 to 6½ furl.), is 12½ miles SW of Arrochar, by Glencroe; 11½ SE of Inveraray, by Hell's Glen and St Catherine's Ferry; and 19½ NNW of Greenock, by water. A peaceful little place, with its lovely surroundings of wood and water, mountain and glen, it communicates daily by coach with Inveraray, by steamer with Greenock, and has a post office under Greenock, with money order, savings' -bank, and telegraph departments, an hotel, a steamboat pier, and a good many villas and pretty cottages.

The parish, containing also Cairndow hamlet, comprises the ancient parishes of Lochgoilhead and Kilmorich, the former in the S, the latter in the N, and down to 1649 comprehended Strachur besides. It is bounded N by Glenorchy, NE by Killin in Perthshire, E by Arrochar, SE by the upper 107/8 miles of salt-water Loch Long (½ mile broad), SW by Kilmun, W by Strachur, and NW by salt-water Loch Fyne and Inveraray. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 19 miles; its breadth varies between 1 mile and 11 miles; and its area is 1101/11 square miles or 70, 4601/5 acres, of which 39,1923/5 belong to the Lochgoilhead section, 191 are water, 6 tidal water, and 5676/7 foreshore. The northern division, extending from the vicinity of Benloy to the mountains which screen the northern side of Glencroe, includes Ben Bui (3106 feet), Ben Ime (3318), Ben Arthur (2891), and Glenfyne. The southern division, extending 107/8 miles down Loch Long and 5 down Loch Fyne, is intersected by Loch Goil, and includes Glencroe, Glenkinglas, Hell's Glen, Ben-anLochain (2955 feet), Ben Bheula (2557), Ben Donich (2774), Ben Lochain (2306), and Argyll's Bowling Green. In all twenty-seven summits have a height of more than 2000 feet above sea-level, and the surface everywhere is wildly mountainous and very rugged, abounding in vast bare rocky masses, and in stupendous cliffs and precipices. Caves, grottos, and natural vaults are very numerous; streams, rapid and romantic, but all of short length of course, run to the several sea lochs; and four small lakes, well stored with trout, lie high up among the hills. Considerable pendicles of land on the coasts and in the glens are well cultivated and highly embellished; and a large aggregate of natural wood clothes much of the upland tracts, especially on and near the coasts, and charmingly hides or relieves the savageness of the mountain wastes. Eruptive and metamorphic rocks predominate; limestone has been worked in several quarries; at the head of Loch Fyne is a vein of lead ore, said to be very rich in silver; and jasper, several kinds of spar, and some other interesting minerals are found. The soil in the bottoms of some of the glens is rich and fertile; on patches of the coast lands is light, sharp, and sandy; in the high glens is generally wet and spongy, partly a deep moss; and on the pastoral uplands is mostly thin, dry, and firm to the tread of cattle. The chief antiquities, Ardkinglass, Carrick, and Dundarave Castles,are noticed separately, as also are the mansions of Ardgartan, Ardkinglass, and Drimsynie. Four proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards. Lochgoilhead is in the presbytery of Argyll and the synod of Dunoon; the living is worth £280. The parish church, at Lochgoilhead village, is an old building, with 305 sittings; a mission church, at Cairndow, has 258. There is also a Free Church preaching station of Lochgoilhead; and two public schools, Kilmorich and Lochgoilhead, with respective accommodation for 44 and 72 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 34 and 73, and grants of £45, 19s. and £70, 7s. Valuation (1860) £6305, (1884) £10,963, 19s. 7d. Pop. (1801) 1145, (1831) 1196, (1861) 702, (1871) 766, (1881) 870, of whom 419 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur., shs. 37, 38, 45, 46, 1871-76.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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