Parish of Arrochar

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: Arrochar
1834-45: Arrochar

Arrochar, a village and a parish of N Dumbartonshire. The village stands on the eastern side of the head of saltwater Loch Long, with Ben Arthur (2891 feet) rising right opposite; it is 1¾ mile W by S of Tarbet on Loch Lomond, 20½ miles E by S of Inverary, and 17¼ N of Helensburgh, with the two first places communicating by coach, by steamer with the last. It has a post and telegraph office under Dumbarton, an excellent hotel, and a number of pleasant villas; here Coleridge parted from Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, 29 Ang. 1803.

The parish is bounded N by Killin in Perthshire, E by Buchanan in Stirlingshire and by Loch Lomond (¼ to 1 mile in breadth), S by Luss, and W by Row, Loch Long, and Lochgoilhead parish in Argyllshire. From N to S it has an extreme length of 12 ½ miles; its width from E to W varies between 1¼ and 6¾ miles; and its area is 28,832½ acres, of which 58¾ are foreshore and 2915¾ water. Most of the Perthshire border is traced by the Aldernan running eastward, and the Allt-Innse westward, to the Falloch, which has a southerly course in Arrochar to the head of Loch Lomond of 1¼ mile. From Luss the parish is parted by the Donglas, flowing eastward to Loch Lomond, and from Argyllshire for 2¾ miles by Loin Water, flowing southward to the head of Loch Long; whilst the chief stream of the interior is Inveruglas Water, running 2¼ miles south-eastward and eastward to Loch Lomond out of Loch Sloy, a lonely lake that, 9 furlongs long but barely 1 in width, lies midway between Ben Vorlich and Ben Vane. Save for the isthmus between the village and Tarbet, and for narrow strips along the lochs and streams, the surface everywhere is grandly mountainous. The principal heights are, eastward of the Falloch and Loch Lomond, *Parlan Hill (2001 feet), Cnap Mor (536), Cruach (1675), *Stob nan Eighrach (2011), and *Beinn a' Choin (2524); and westward thereof, from N to S, *Beinn Damhain (2242), Stoban Fhithich (1272), Cnap na Criche (1611), *Maol Breac (2115), *Maol Meadhonach (1981), Cnoc (1614), Ben Vorlich (3092), Little Hills (2602), *Beinn Dhubh (2509), *Ben Vane (3004), Dubh Chnoc (945), Cruach Tairbeirt (1364), Ben Reoch (2168), *Tullich Hill (2075), Beinn Bhreac (2233), and Stob Gobhlach (1413), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate just on or close to the borders of the parish. The rocks consist mainly of mica slate, though including some clay slate, amorphous quartz, and trap veins; of arable land there are hardly 400 acres, but woods and plantations cover a considerable area along Lochs Lomond and Long. From the 13th down to the 18th century, this was the country of the ` wild Macfarlane's plaided clan,' who took their slogan from their gathering place, Loch Sloy. Supporters of the Stewart Earls of Lennox, they fought at Glasgow Muir, and Pinkie, and Langside; but one of the last of them, Walter Macfarlane of that ilk, the antiquary (d. 1767), is ` no less celebrated among historians as the collector of ancient records than were his ancestors among the other Highland chiefs for prowess in the field ' (Keltie's Scottish Highlands, 1875, vol. ii., pp. 173-175). At present by far the largest proprietor is Sir Jas. Colquhoun of Luss. Lord Jeffrey's favourite residence, Stuckgown House, which lies on Loch Lomond, 1 mile SSE of Tarbet, belongs to Jas. M`Murrich, Esq., owner of 851 acres in the shire, valued at £814 per annum; and other mansions are Blarannich, 1¾ mile NNE of Tarbet, and Benreoch House, near the village. Disjoined from Luss in 1658, Arrochar is in the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £285. The parish church (rebuilt in 1847) stands just to the S of the village, and a Free church ½ mile W of Tarbet; whilst Arrochar public school, with accommodation for 92 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 29, and a grant of £29, 6s. 9d. Valuation (1881) £5291,14s. Pop. (1801) 470, (1841) 580, (1851) 562, (1861) 629, (1871) 525, (1881) 517.—Ord. Sur., sh. 36,1871. See pp. 77-81,115-119, of Dorothy Wordsworth's Tour in Scotland (ed. by Princ. Shairp, 1874).

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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