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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Kilmartin, a village and a coast parish of Argyllshire. The village, on the road from Lochgilphead to Oban, 3½ miles NNE of Port Crinan and 8 NNW of Lochgilphead, is situated near the middle of a beautiful vale which is watered by the rivulet Skeodnish, and flanked by steep wooded hills. Rebuilt on a regular plan about 1835, it now is one of the neatest and pleasantest of Highland villages, and chiefly consists of substantial slated cottages, each with a garden plot. It has a post office under Lochgilphead, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, and fairs ou the first Thursday of March and the fourth Thursday of November. The parish church is a handsome Gothic edifice of 1835, with a square tower and 520 sittings; in its graveyard is a purely Celtic cross, 5½ feet high, whose ornamentation consists of interlaced work, divergent spirals, a d key patterns or fretwork. There are also a Free church and St Columba's Epis copal church (1854; 120 sittings).

The parish, containing also Port Crinan, and including the two chief islands in Loch Craignish, with several other islets, is bounded NW by Craignish, NE by Kilchrenan and Dalavich, SE by Kilmichael Glassary, S by Loch Crinan, which separates it from Knapdale, and W by Loch Craignish, which separates it from the Craignish peninsula. Its utmost length, from NE to SW, is 12½ miles; its utmost breadth is 5½ miles; and its area is 25,102 acres. Loch Awe, for 4¾ miles downward from its head, lies on the boundary with Kilmichael-Glassary; and the rivulet Skeodnish, rising not far from the loch's head, and running 6 miles south-south-westward to Loch Crinan, appears to traverse the loch's original outlet. The ranges, ridges, and groups of hill, which occupy most of the interior, are much diversified with intervening dales and hollows, and exhibit no little beauty of verdure and copsewood. They rise to altitudes of from 700 to 1407 feet above sea-level; and include several summits which command extensive and very brilliant views. The vale of the Skeodnish is overhung by the hills in the N, and partly flanked by those in the S; has, for some distance from its head, a narrow and winding character, but expands afterwards into a level plain, partly extending along the south-eastern boundary; and, viewed as a whole, is one of the loveliest valleys in the Highlands. A series of broad terraces, rising 50 to 60 feet above the bottom level, and mostly composed of gravel and small boulders, is in the upper part of the vale, principally on the W side; and an extensive peat moss, reaching partly into Kilmichael-Glassary, and long under a course of drainage, lies on the SE border. The predominant rocks are metamorphic, and include chlorite, mica, clay, and hornblende slates. The soil of the strath is fairly good, a mixture of many kinds, and generally is very various, ranging from alluvium to moor. Barely one-seventh of the entire area is in tillage; 1215 acres are under wood; and nearly all the remainder is either pastoral or waste. The ruins of Kilmartin Castle, the ancient residence of the rectors of Kilmartin, crown a bank immediately N of the village; other antiquities being the ruins of Carnassary Castle and a number of large cairns in the valley and on the hills. Duntroon Castle is the chief mansion; and 2 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 5 of less, than £500. Kilmartin is in the presbytery of Imeraray and synod of Argyll; the living is worth £230. A public school, with accommodation for 160 children, had (1881) an average attend ance of 87, and a grant of £74, 11s. Valuation (1860) £6384, (1883) £7865, 5s. 6d. Pop. (1801) 1501, (1831) 1475, (1861) 949, (1871) 869, (1881) 811, of whom 647 were Gaelic-speaking.

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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