Samuel Lewis' 1846-Published Topographical Dictionary of Scotland Extracts for Knapdale and Kintyre PREFACE
The Proprietors of The Topographical Dictionary of Scotland feel they shall stand excused if they indulge in some expression of pride and satisfaction, on presenting their Subscribers with the concluding portion of their great undertaking in illustration of the Topography of the United Kingdom. Many years have now elapsed since they first circulated proposals for publishing Dictionaries of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, in succession, in Ten Volumes. Those years, they flatter themselves, have not been ill spent in endeavouring to make the Volumes more exact and comprehensive than they could possibly have been made in a shorter period; and the Proprietors of this almost National Publication can truly say, that they have spared no pains, and held back from no expense, calculated to render their labours worthy of the favour of their Subscribers. 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The same spirit that led to the publication of the Old and New Statistical Accounts of Scotland, two Works whose fame is European, has led to a favourable reception of the design of the Proprietors of this Work. But while they consider it superfluous again to explain fully the plan upon which the Works on England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland were alike compiled, they may refer to one course, among others, which they adopted in preparing the two present Volumes. This was, to address the following Letter to the Clergy, resident Landed Proprietors, Literary Gentlemen, and others, a copy of it being sent to each parish in the country: "Sir, We take the liberty of forwarding to you a list of Queries, intended as the basis of our forthcoming Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, and shall be particularly obliged by your answers to them at your earliest convenience. We feel that in soliciting this favour we are trespassing upon your valuable time: yet, as our object is to afford an accurate and faithful description of your highly interesting country, we trust that you will pardon the obtrusion. We have the honour to be, &c. &c., S. Lewis and Co." To this Letter was annexed the ensuing list of Queries, with a view to obtain information on some of the subjects intended to be comprised in the Work:—1, Name of the parish; in what county, and on what river or turnpike-road situated:—2, Name of the post-town, and the distance of the parish from it:—3, Number of statute acres, and whether by computation or admeasurement; the numbers or proportions of arable. pasture, woodland, &c.:—4, The distinguishing features of the surface and scenery:—5, The nature of the soil; chief agricultural produce, and the principal geological features of the parish:—6, What gentlemen's seats of importance; what villages, and the chief employment of their inhabitants:—7, What facilities afforded by railroad, navigable river, or canal:—8, What mines or quarries; their respective produce; and to what use applied:—9, What manufactories, mills, foundries, potteries, or other works; and the number of hands employed in each:—10, What fairs; when held, for what commodities. and how attended:—11, The name of the patron of the incumbency:—12, The style of architecture of the church or churches; the date and cost of erection, and from what funds defrayed; and any description of the building or buildings:—13, What places of worship for Seceders, and their several denominations:—14, Parochial and free schools: almshouses, or other charitable institutions; how supported; when and with what funds the buildings were erected:—15, Remains of religious houses; castles: when and by whom founded; present state of the edifice or ruins, and to whom belonging:— 16, Antiquities: camps, cromlechs, barrows, tumuli, Druidical remains, &c.:—17, Natural curiosities, minerals, fossils; mineral springs; if used for medicinal purposes, their peculiar properties:—18, Names of eminent natives or residents of the place:—19. What title the place confers, and on what family.
Answers to these Queries were received from nearly every parish in Scotland, the communications generally affording the fullest details upon the topics in question, and largely contributing, from the immediate connexion of the Writers with the different localities, to the accuracy of the Work. The Proprietors consider it as not a little remarkable, that out of the great number of Circulars issued, a very few only were unanswered, and some of those few, they venture to believe, merely on account of the temporary absence of the Gentlemen addressed. The facilities afforded by the present system of Postage also enabled the Proprietors to send Printed Proofs of the Articles on the parishes and other important places, to all parts of Scotland, accompanied by the following Letter:— "Sir, Being engaged in preparing for publication a Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, and desirous to render the descriptions of the various places comprised in it as accurate as possible, we take the liberty of forwarding for your perusal the accompanying rough Proof, and shall esteem it a particular favour if you will kindly correct any error you may detect, and return the paper by an early post, as the Press is kept standing at very considerable inconvenience. In the hope that you will pardon this obtrusion, we have the honour, &c. &c., S. Lewis and Co." Thus nearly every page of the Work was forwarded to the spot to which it related, during the passage of the sheets through the Press; and of the entire number of Articles, as many as twelve-thirteenths were duly returned, with, in some cases, very important emendations. To Ministers of parishes and the Town-Clerks of almost all the burghs, especially, the Proprietors' thanks are due for the promptitude with which the Proofs submitted to their perusal were revised. All responsibility, however, connected with the Dictionary of Scotland, it is scarcely necessary to state, rests with the Editors; for, while they have endeavoured in every possible way, consistently with the plan of the Book, to meet the views of those who favoured them with information, or with corrections of the Proofs, they have, of course, often been compelled to use their own discretion, and have not lost sight of the fact, that it is to Publishers that readers look as the accountable parties. For the Seals and Arms that embellish the Work, the Proprietors are chiefly indebted to the Town-Clerks of the several Burghs, who obliged them with the wax impressions from which most of the engravings have been executed. Their best acknowledgments are also due to the Principals of King's College Aberdeen, of Marischal College Aberdeen, and of Glasgow College; the Reverend the Librarian of the University of Edinburgh; and the Reverend C. J. Lyon, M.A., of St. Andrew's, Author of the valuable History of that city; for copies of the Official Seals of the five great Universities of Scotland, and for other favours. It may be well to remind the Reader, that the statements of Acres refer to the Imperial standard measure, unless otherwise expressed. The amounts of the parochial Ministers' stipends are the average of several years, and are derived from a Parliamentary Return, generally, however, corrected by local information; the rateable annual value of each parish is inserted also on the authority of a Parliamentary Paper, compiled for the purposes of the Income tax. It is likewise proper to observe that the Work, as denoted in the Title-page, simply comprises separate Articles upon the Islands, Counties, Cities, Towns, Parishes, and Principal Villages; the rivers, mountains, lakes, seats, and such objects, being (unlike the manner of a general Gazetteer) described under the heads of parishes, &c. Thus, Abbotsford, the seat of Sir Walter Scott, is noticed in the article on Melrose. The arrangement of the places is strictly Alphabetical, each being given under its proper name, and the epithet, if any, by which it is distinguished from another locality of the same designation, following after the chief heading. 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LOCHGILPHEAD, a village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, partly in the parish of South Knapdale, but chiefly in that of Kilmichael-Glassary, district and county of Argyll, 24 miles (S. W.) from Inverary; containing 2748 inhabitants, of whom 2072 are in Kilmichael-Glassary. This place derives its name from its situation at the head of Loch Gilp, a branch of Loch Fine; and at the end of the eighteenth century comprised only a few fishermen's huts, since which time it has rapidly increased in extent and importance. The present village consists of several well-formed streets of substantial houses, of handsome appearance; and is paved, and partially supplied with water conveyed by leaden pipes to the houses. The scenery is richly diversified, and abounds with interesting and romantic features; and in the vicinity are some good seats, of which the demesnes are tastefully laid out, and embellished with plantations. The inhabitants are principally employed in the herring-fishery, which is carried on to a very considerable extent; cod, ling, and other whitefish are also taken here in abundance. About 40 boats are engaged in the herring-fishery, each having a crew of three men; and more than 100 persons are occupied in preparing, curing, and packing: the herringfishery commences in June, and continues till December. The harbour of Lochgilphead affords good anchorage, but little shelter from the south winds; and the small bays of Silvercraigs give protection to the boats employed in the fishery. The principal port, however, is Ardrissaig, in the parish of South Knapdale, about two miles to the south of Lochgilphead, at the extremity of the Crinan canal, and where an excellent pier, on which is a light-house, has been constructed. The canal affords a direct communication between Loch Fine and the Western Ocean, avoiding the circuitous and dangerous navigation round the Mull of Cantyre. This important work was commenced in 1793, and completed in 1801, at a cost of £180,000; it is nine miles in length, and ten feet in depth, admitting vessels of 160 tons' burthen, and has thirteen locks varying from ninety-six to 108 feet in length, and from twenty-four to twenty-seven in breadth. From its situation on the high road from Inverary to Campbelltown, the village derives a considerable degree of inland trade. A distillery has been established, in which on an average 76,000 gallons of whisky are annually produced; and on the confines of the district, bordering upon Inverary, a mill has been erected for the manufacture of gunpowder. In front of the principal street, an area has been inclosed for the cattle-markets and fairs that are held annually in the village, and for the prize shows for cattle and sheep and the most approved specimens of husbandry, which take place towards the end of September. The post-office has a daily delivery from Inverary, Glasgow, and Campbelltown, and a delivery three times in the week from Kilmartin; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads and bridges, kept in excellent repair, and by the steamers that frequent Loch Fine and the canal. The parish of Lochgilphead was about five miles in length and three miles in breadth, comprising an area of 9500 acres, of which the far greater portion is hilly moorland, affording only pasturage for sheep and cattle. The internal economy is in every respect similar to that of the parish of Kilmichael-Glassary. The principal mansions are, Kilmory; Achindarrock, a modern residence beautifully situated on an eminence overlooking the Crinan canal; and Achnaba. The district was erected into a quoad sacra parish by act of the General Assembly: the church, built at a cost of £750, by parliamentary grant, in 1828, and enlarged by the addition of galleries in 1834, is a neat plain structure containing 506 sittings. The minister has a stipend of £120, paid from the exchequer, to which £30 are added by voluntary contribution of the heritors, with a manse, and a small glebe; patron, the Crown. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, Baptists, Independents, and members of the Congregational Union; also a female school in the village, under the patronage of the Orde family, baronets of Morpeth, in the county of Northumberland.
ARDRISSAIG, a village, in the parish of South Knapdale, county of Argyll; containing about 400 inhabitants. This village, situated at the harbour of Ardrissaig, in Loch Gilp, a branch of Loch Fine, has sprung up since the
commencement of the Crinan canal, in 1793, and is of respectable appearance. It is the scene of much bustle and traffic, occasioned by the convenience of its harbour, at the opening of the canal into Loch Gilp, where, exclusive of the business in goods and passengers connected with the canal, it is computed that about 24,000 persons are landed and shipped annually, besides large numbers of sheep and cattle, by the Glasgow steam-vessels, three of which in summer, and one in winter, arrive here daily. In the adjacent harbour is a slip and steam-boat pier, erected in 1837, at an expense of more than £1000; and independently of the boats belonging to the parish, forty or fifty in number, many others, making together above 100, are frequently in the harbour in the fishing season, herrings being taken in Loch Fine, in very large numbers. One of the parochial schools was established here, but is now included in the new parish of Lochgilphead.
KNAPDALE, NORTH, a parish, in the district of Islay, county of Argyll, 8 miles (W. S. W.) from Lochgilphead; containing 2170 inhabitants. This place, of which the name, in the Celtic language, is accurately descriptive of the surface of the land, diversified with hill and dale, was in 1734 created a separate parish, as was also South Knapdale. The two districts previously formed one parish, called Kilvic-O-Charmaig after Mac-O-Charmaig, an Irish saint who, from his solitary retirement on a small island off the coast, founded several chapels in the neighbourhood. This part of the country was alternately subject, for a long period, to the aggressions of the Irish and the Danes, against whose invasions the inhabitants were continually on their guard; and on the approach of an enemy, a series of watch towers along the coast were instantly lighted up as a signal for the assembling of the military force of the district. The lords of the Isles exercised an independent sovereignty over their vassals here till, in the reign of Bruce, they were ultimately compelled to acknowledge the royal authority. The parish is bounded on the north by Loch Crinan and the canal of that name, and on the south and west by the sound of Jura; it is about thirteen and a half miles in length, and nearly six miles in breadth. The exact number of acres has not been ascertained; there are, however, 3400 acres arable, 22,126 meadow and pasture, 1925 in natural wood, and about 250 under plantation. The surface is beautifully diversified with hills and valleys, and in some parts with gentle undulations and gradual slopes. The principal hills are, Cruachlusach, which has an elevation of 2004 feet above the level of the sea, and Dunardary, Duntaynish, Ervary, and Arichonan, of which the lowest rises to the height of 1200 feet; they all command from their summits interesting and extensive prospects, but from Cruachlusach the view is unbounded and strikingly grand. There are not less than twenty inland lakes scattered over the surface; the largest is about a mile and a quarter in length, and nearly one-third of a mile in breadth, and all abound with trout. Several streams, likewise, intersect the parish; the most considerable is the Kilmichael, which has its source in the moor of that name, near the foot of Mount Cruachlusach, and, after a winding course, in which it forms a picturesque cascade, falls into the sea about 300 yards below the bridge of Kilmichael-Inverlussay. The streams of Dunrostan and Auchnamara are of less importance. The coast is deeply indented on the west by the inlet of Loch Swein, which is from about two to three miles broad, and intersects the parish for nearly ten miles in a north-eastern direction, almost dividing it into two distinct parts. The extent of coast, including the shores of Loch Swein, is almost fifty miles: the rocks in the north rise precipitously to a height of 300 feet; in some parts the coast is bounded by low ledges of rocks, and in others by a level sandy beach. The soil near the coast is light and sandy; in other places, a gravelly loam; towards the south-west, a rich friable mould of great fertility; and in other parts, an unproductive moss. The system of agriculture is improving; but the principal attention of the farmers is paid to the rearing of live stock. The chief crops are oats and potatoes; the lands have been improved by draining and the use of lime, and the arable farms are inclosed with stone dykes. The cattle are all of the pure West Highland breed, and in respect of size and quality are not surpassed by any in the country; the sheep are generally of the black-faced breed. The dairy-farms are well managed, and the produce abundant. The ancient woods consist of oak, ash, mountain-ash, willow, birch, alder, hazel, and holly; and the plantations, which are in a thriving condition, are oak, ash, larch, spruce, Scotch and silver fir, elm, and beech. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5891. The villages are, Bellanoch, in which is a post-office under that of Lochgilphead, with three deliveries weekly, and Tayvallich. Facility of communication is afforded by good roads: that from Lochgilphead to Keills passes for fifteen miles through the parish, and a branch of it leads to the church of Kilmichael. A road from Inverlussay to Loch Swein is in progress, which, when completed, will greatly promote the
intercourse with the eastern portion of the parish. There are five vessels, of thirty tons each, belonging to this place, employed in trading to Greenock, Liverpool, and the Irish coast; and steam-boats from Glasgow to Inverness pass daily during the summer along the Crinan canal. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Inverary and synod of Argyll. The minister's stipend is £164. 6. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £22 per annum; patron, the Crown. There are two churches, in which the minister officiates alternately. The church of Kilmichael-Inverlussay is a neat structure, erected in 1819, and contains 432 sittings; the church of Tayvallich, on the opposite shore of Loch Swein, distant from Kilmichael three miles by sea and ten by land, was erected in 1827, and contains 700 sittings. There are three parochial schools, of which the masters have each a salary of £17, and fees averaging £10 annually; the whole afford instruction to about 240 children. At Keills, in the south-western extremity of the parish, are the ruins of an ancient chapel of Mac-O-Charmaig's, near which is an old cross; and on Drimnacreige are those of another religious house. Not far from the site of a chapel at Kilmahunaig, of which only the cemetery remains, is a conical mound, 120 yards in circumference at the base, and thirty feet in height, called Dun-Donald, where the lords of the Isles held their courts for dispensing justice. There are also numerous remains of fortresses, of which one, called Dun-a-Bheallich, on a hill near the church of Tayvallich, appears to have been raised to defend the pass from the bay of Carsaig to that of Tayvallich. On a rock close to the sea are the ruins of Castle-Swein, commanding the entrance of that loch, and of which the foundation is by tradition ascribed to Swein, Prince of Denmark; the remains consist of roofless walls 105 feet in length, seven feet in thickness, and thirty-five feet in height. A portion called Macmillan's tower seems to be of more recent date than the rest.
KNAPDALE, SOUTH, a parish, in the district and county of Argyll, 13 miles (N. by W.) from Tarbert; containing, with a portion of the quoad sacra district of Lochgilphead, 2223 inhabitants. The Gaelic term that gives name to this place consists of the two words knap, a hill, and daill, a plain, field, or dale, and is descriptive of the general appearance of the surface, which is marked by numerous hills and dales. The parish was formed at the same time as that of North Knapdale, in 1734. It is bounded on the east by Loch Fine, and on the west by the sound of Jura, a large arm of the Atlantic Ocean; and is computed to be about twenty miles in length, and in one part half that breadth, comprising chiefly tracts appropriated as sheep-walks and to the pasturage of black-cattle, the soil and climate being alike unfriendly to extensive agricultural operations. The parish approximates in form to a peninsula. On the south-east is a small loch, a branch of Loch Fine, called East Loch Tarbert, and having only the narrow isthmus of Tarbert between it and West Loch Tarbert, which latter borders the parish also on the south-east, and joins the Atlantic at the southern extremity of South Knapdale. The parish is washed on the west, as already stated, by the sound of Jura, its coast extending northward to Loch Chaolis-port, or Killisport, an arm of the sound, running into the land in a north-eastern direction for five or six miles; and thus the parish is almost encompassed by water, rendering it a peninsula, of which Loch Fine is the eastern boundary. The shore of the sound is marked by several bays. The north-western coast of Loch Killisport is much indented, and abrupt and rocky; but the south-eastern shore is gradual in its ascent. Both sides are richly ornamented with copse wood; and excellent anchorage is found in several of its bays, for vessels seeking refuge from the swell of the south-west and other gales. The shelter is especially good within Ellanfada, at the head of the loch, where the north winds are broken by the hills rising in that direction in the form of an amphitheatre. The islands of Ellanfada, Ellan-na-Muick, and Lea-Ellan, with others, are situated in the loch; and off the point of Knap, at the extremity of its north-western shore, is a dangerous rock called Bow-Knap, the summit of which is seen only at low water during spring tides. Near the north-west coast, also, is Ellan-na-Leek; besides which there are the islands of Ellan-More, Ellan-na-Gamhna, and Core-Ellan, all celebrated for the excellent beef and mutton produced on their pastures. The waters of the loch afford abundance of fish, comprising salmon, trout, whiting, ling, seethe, haddock, skate, halibut, turbot, flounders, and occasionally the John-Dory. Herrings formerly visited it, and large numbers were caught; but they are now seldom seen here in any quantity. Loch Fine is their chief resort in this part of the country; and between forty and fifty boats belonging to the parish are engaged in the fishery there during the season, each, in a prosperous time, making about £70.
The interior of the parish is hilly and mountainous. The highest range is that of Sliabh-Ghaoil, stretching from Inverneill to Barnellan, a distance of twelve miles, and the summits of which command beautifully-diversified and extensive prospects, comprehending the Ayrshire coast, Bute, the Cumbray isles, and the serrated peaks of Arran, with Cantyre and Ireland, the isles of Rathlin, Scarba, Mull, and Jura, and many other interesting objects, both near and far. The heights also embrace a view of the Kyles of Bute, the mouth of the Clyde, the sound of Kilbrannan, the channel towards Ireland, West Loch Tarbert, the sound of Jura, Loch Fine, and other waters. Parallel with Sliabh-Ghaoil run subordinate ranges, with intermediate valleys traversed by numerous streams, of which those named Ormsary and Loch-head are celebrated for their fine trout. Salmon-trout, also, of good quality, are found in the different inland lakes, four or five in number. Some portions of the parish are subject to tillage; the farms are of small size, and the usual crops are, oats, bear, barley, peas, beans, turnips, clover, and rye-grass, with potatoes, the last raised in considerable quantities, and exported. The average rent of land, however, does not exceed one shilling per acre, in consequence of the very large proportion of moor pasture. On some of the best farms, the tenements and offices have been recently much improved; and on one estate a threshing-mill, worked by water, and at present the only one in the parish, has been erected. The sheep are all of the black-faced kind; and the black-cattle, many of which are of superior quality, and have obtained prizes at the cattle-shows in the district, are the West Highland. The wood, which is partly natural and partly planted, and of considerable extent, comprises oak, ash, birch, hazel, and holly, larch, spruce-fir, ash, beech, plane and willow: some of the plantations are of recent growth, and very flourishing. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5777. The mansion of Ormsary, one of the principal seats, is a beautiful residence, with a fine garden and shrubbery, from which plantations are intended to be continued in clumps to the north, and in belts to the shore on the south, for the shelter of this agreeable locality. The parish also contains the mansions of Inverneill, Erines, Drimdrissaig, and Achindarroch, the last situated on the bank of the Crinan canal, and surrounded with ornamental grounds; and a spacious mansion has been built at Barmore. An excellent road runs from Daill, the north-eastern extremity of the parish, to Barnellan, in the south, and for about twelve miles is called the Sliabh-Ghaoil road, on account of its route along the eastern base of the hilly range of that name. It was constructed with much labour and difficulty, under the superintendence, and by the persevering exertions, of Sheriff Campbell, and has proved of eminent service to this parish, as well as to several others, offering the only inland means of communication between the peninsula of Cantyre and the other parts of Argyllshire. The Crinan canal, begun in 1793, by a company, under an act of parliament obtained for that purpose, commences at the loch and village from which it takes its name, in the parish of Kilmartin, and, after a south-eastern course of nine miles, falls into the Loch Gilp branch of Loch Fine, in the north of this parish. It is a convenient and safe channel for vessels plying between the West Highlands and the Clyde: by it the dangerous course round the Mull of Cantyre is avoided; and it has been found highly beneficial to the coasting and fishing trade, for whose use it was chiefly designed. At its opening into Loch Gilp, a village has been formed since the commencement of the canal; it is called Ardrissaig, and contains about 400 people, who are chiefly supported by the herring-fishery: 100 boats are frequently in the harbour during the season of the fishery; and there is also much traffic by means of the Glasgow steamers, three of which in summer, and one in winter, arrive at the port daily, for the conveyance of goods and cattle, and passengers. The northern parts of the parish chiefly use Lochgilphead, a large village in the parish of Kilmichael-Glassary, as their post-town, and the southern district the village of Tarbert. To the latter place the mail-bag was formerly sent from Lochgilphead daily, upon its arrival from Inverary; but it is now despatched by steam from Ardrissaig, a change productive of some inconvenience. The village of Tarbert, situated partly in the parish, affords means to those residing in the south for the disposal of their produce; those in the north generally resort to Lochgilphead. The parish is in the presbytery of Inverary and synod of Argyll, and in the patronage of the Crown: the minister's stipend is £159, with a manse, and a glebe of fourteen acres, valued at £10 per annum. There are two churches, the one situated at Achoish, and the other at Inverneill, both built about the year 1775, and repaired a few years since; they are seated respectively for 212 and 300 persons. The incumbent formerly officiated at these churches alternately; but, since the erection of a church at Lochgilphead in 1828, and the annexation of Ardrissaig, and some parts adjacent, to the district of that church, he has performed public worship at Inverneill every third Sabbath only. There are four parochial schools, affording instruction in English and Gaelic reading, and the other branches of a plain education; and at two of the schools instruction is given in Latin, geography, and navigation. The masters each receive a
salary of £12. 12., but no allowance is made to any of them for dwelling-house or ground; their fees amount respectively to £20, £8, £12, and £7. There is also an Assembly's school, the master of which is indebted for a house and some ground, and for the school-house, to the munificence of Mrs. Campbell, of Ormsary. The remains of three ancient chapels are still visible, one of which, in Ellan-More, was built by Mac-O-Charmaig; it is arched over, and in good preservation; and in the recess of the wall is a stone coffin, with the figure of a man cut on the lid. The same saint founded the church of Kilvic-O-Charmaig, the mother church of the two Knapdales, and, after many acts of devotion, was buried in his own island, where his tomb is yet to be seen. At Cove is a chapel in ruins, built, according to tradition, by St. Columba, before he took his departure for Iona to found his seminary there; the altar and fount remain in good order, and the former exhibits a well-sculptured cross. Near the Point of Knap is a rock on which was engraved, in Celtic characters, now no longer visible, the charter of the Mc Millans, declaring their right to the lands of South Knapdale, nearly the whole of which they possessed, and retained against the violent attempts of the Mc Neils, a powerful clan in North Knapdale, to wrest the property from them, until the year 1775, when it came by purchase to the Campbell family, who now hold it.
TARBERT, a sea-port town, in the parish of Kilcalmonell, district of Cantyre, county of Argyll, 31 miles (N.) from Campbelltown, and 140 (W.) from Edinburgh; containing 594 inhabitants. This place, which is an ancient burgh of regality, and was the chief town of the shire of Tarbert when the county of Argyll formed two shires, is situated on the margin of East Loch Tarbert, which is an arm of Loch Fine, approximating so closely to West Loch Tarbert as to make the district of Cantyre a peninsula, and leaving an isthmus but little more than a mile across. In 1809 a memorial was presented to the parliamentary commissioners, in which it was stated that the village of Tarbert was one of the most considerable places in the West Highlands, on account of the excellence of its harbour, and the peculiar advantages of its locality. It is the centre of communication between the numerous sea lochs that indent the coast of this part of the county, and offers great facilities of transit between the districts on the east and west. A quay and land-breast under the village had been constructed by the proprietor, previously to the year just mentioned; and the commissioners in answer to the memorial, agreed to the enlargement of the quay, the renewing of the land-breast, which had become ruinous, and the improvement of the approaches to the harbour by the removal of some rocks obstructing the entrance. Though small, the place wears the appearance of a bustling port, and has attained, through continued and thriving traffic, considerable prosperity; it has a good herring-fishery, and is much frequented by steamers and other vessels. A small fair for horses is held in the beginning of August. A general post-office has long been established, communicating daily with Glasgow by steam-vessels; and mails are also dispatched hence by land to Campbelltown, where is a sub-office. There is a chapel supported by the Royal Bounty; and the members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The castle of Tarbert, once of great strength, is now in ruins.
Kilcalmonell and Kilberry
KILCALMONELL and KILBERRY, a parish, in the county of Argyll; containing, with the village of Tarbert, 3325 inhabitants. The former of these two ancient parishes, now united, derives its name from the Gaelic term signifying "the burial-place of Malcolm O'Neill." The word Kilberry is by some traced to the compound term Cill-a-Mhairi, "the burial-place of Mary." The district of Kilcalmonell is situated at the northern extremity of the peninsula of Cantyre; it stretches to Loch Fine on the north-east, and is bounded on the north-west, nearly throughout its whole length, by West Loch Tarbert and the Atlantic Ocean: it is about sixteen miles long, and two and a half or three broad. Kilberry approaches, in figure, to an equilateral triangle, each side measuring eight miles, and is situated in the district of Knapdale; it is separated from Kilcalmonell by West Loch Tarbert, and bounded by the sea or the loch on all sides, except the north-east.
The surface of Kilcalmonell is irregular and varied, rising in some parts with a gentle acclivity, and in others much more abruptly, and terminating in a hilly range on the south-east, about 1500 feet high; it is diversified occasionally by low valleys, 100 or 150 feet above the level of the sea. The coast of this part of the parish is sandy, and altogether uniform and uninteresting, except in the vicinity of Loch Tarbert, where birch, alder, and other trees, displaying a wild profusion of foliage, relieve the tameness of the scenery. In the Kilberry district is a ridge of lofty hills running from west to east, and increasing in elevation, in a gradual manner, till it reaches Sliobhghoil. One of the two bases of this height spreads itself out into a large tract of sterile moorland, while the other affords a striking contrast in the superiority of its soil, and its eligibility for agricultural operations. The shore presented to the Atlantic is bold. The only bay of consequence in the parish is Stornoway, near which is the headland of Ardpatrick, the landing-place, according to tradition, of St. Patrick, on his way from Ireland to Icolmkill. West Loch Tarbert, which divides the two parochial districts, is a branch of the Atlantic, nine miles long and one broad: at the northern extremity stands the populous fishing-town of Tarbert, where a narrow isthmus, separating East Loch Tarbert from West Loch Tarbert, makes Cantyre a peninsula. There are several fresh-water lochs; but they are small and unimportant, and contribute little to the improvement of the generally unattractive scenery. A few of the farms are well cultivated: potatoes constitute the principal crop, and a large quantity of them is sent annually to the English and Irish markets. The tenants mostly hold their lands at will, and but little improvement in husbandry has taken place; but there are some exceptions, especially on the farm of Crear, in Kilberry, where the land has been brought into good cultivation, and received much embellishment. Limestone occurs in several places; but it lies in thin beds, and is not much used. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7563. The principal mansions are, Stonefield, situated in Kilcalmonell; Dunmore and Ardpatrick Castles, in Kilberry; and an elegant castellated edifice lately erected near Tarbert. The village of Tarbert, which is separately described, is supposed to have been anciently the county-town of Argyll; it is now chiefly famed for its harbour, and for the herringfishery in which its inhabitants are actively and successfully engaged. It has a general post-office, communicating by steam daily with Glasgow; and a road runs through Kilcalmonell to Campbelltown, by which letters are forwarded to the latter place. The produce of the parish is sent for sale, partly to Campbelltown, but chiefly, especially the potatoes, to Ireland and England. A fair, principally for horses, is held at Tarbert in the beginning of August. The parish is in the presbytery of Cantyre and synod of Argyll, and in the patronage of the Duke of Argyll. The minister's stipend is £218, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £17. 10. per annum. The church of Kilcalmonell was built about the year 1760; that of Kilberry in 1821: the former contains 600 sittings, and the latter 700, all free. A chapel is supported at Tarbert by Royal Bounty; and the Independents have a place of worship. There are two parochial schools, affording instruction in the ordinary branches; the masters each receive a salary of £25 per annum, with the fees. The parish contains the forts of Dunskeig, forming part of a chain of strongholds built along the coast of Cantyre; they are very ancient, lofty, and strong, and command extensive views. The castle of Tarbert, now in ruins, was, formerly, also a place of great strength; and there was once a large vitrified fort in the parish, the remains of which are still to be seen.
Killean and Kilchenzie
KILLEAN and KILCHENZIE, a parish, in the district of Cantyre, county of Argyll, 18 miles (N.N. W.) from Campbelltown; containing 2402 inhabitants. The name of the first of these two ancient parishes, now united, is of doubtful origin, but is supposed to be derived either from Killian, a saint of the seventh century, or from a Gaelic term signifying a "river churchyard," in allusion to a rivulet forming the northern boundary, and, in union with a tributary
stream, surrounding the site, of the church and burial-ground. Another saint, called St. Kenneth, is considered to have given name to Kilchenzie, and to have been the tutelar saint of that district. The present parish is situated on the western coast of the peninsula of Cantyre, and is eighteen miles in length, and about four and a half in breadth, comprising 51,840 acres, of which between 5000 and 6000 are arable, several portions pasture, and the remainder, to a great extent, barren moors and wild mountains altogether incapable of cultivation. The coast is much varied. In many parts it is low and sandy, especially in the direction of the islands of Gigha, Cara, Jura, and Islay, which afford great protection against the fury of the waves. Farther south, it is more rocky and elevated; and though neither harbour nor secure anchorage is to be found, for want of those arms of the sea which penetrate many Highland districts, yet the shores are marked by numerous headlands, small bays, caves, and piles of rocks, serving to vary the uniformity of outline, and to create interesting scenery. The principal headland towards the north is Runahaorine point, consisting of a narrow neck of mossy land, stretching for about a mile into the sea, opposite to the north end of the island of Gigha, and, with a promontory in the parish of Kilberry, forming the entrance into West Loch Tarbert from the Atlantic Ocean. Bealochintie bay, more southerly, comprehends a circuit of nearly two miles, and has in its vicinity a projecting mass of rocks and stones of vast dimensions, overhanging the water. The sea is thought to have receded to a considerable extent. Traces of its ancient limits are evident in many places; and among these especially is a strip of alluvial land, extending near the shore, throughout the whole line of coast, and bearing marks of its former subjection to the element. The inhabitants are, indeed, of opinion that this recession is still gradually going on. The sound between the main land and the islands of Gigha and Cara is rendered perilous by numerous sunken rocks; and vessels approaching the coast, having no harbour here, are often obliged, upon a change of wind, to retreat suddenly to Gigha, and wait for a favourable opportunity of returning. The surface of the interior is also considerably varied. The land gradually rises from the shore to the height of 700 or 800 feet, and exhibits several glens, and elevations of some magnitude, enlivened by small streams. The general scenery, however, is uninteresting, and is almost entirely destitute of natural wood. The hills range in a direction from north to south: the most conspicuous, on account of its height, is Beinn-antuirc, or "wild boar mountain," at the head of Glen-Barr, which rises 2170 feet above the level of the sea. The slopes of the hills towards the shore, for about half a mile, are well cultivated, and afford crops of grain, peas, and beans; but beyond, the ground is dreary, bleak, and barren, consisting of lofty moors abounding with small lochs, and tracts covered with heath, coarse grass, and rushes. The soil varies very much in different parts, comprising clay, moss, loam, sand, and gravel; but that which most prevails is a light gravelly loam. Near the sea the soil is very sharp and sandy. In most parts it has from time immemorial been plentifully manured with sea-weed. The crops comprise peas, beans, potatoes, oats, and bear, especially the last, which is cultivated in large quantities. Potatoes likewise form an important article; they have been in great demand for seed since the opening of a communication with the English and Irish markets, and are the staple on which the tenants rely chiefly for the payment of their rents. The rotation system is in operation; but the successful prosecution of this method of husbandry is much retarded by the want of subdivisions in the land, and the scarcity of good inclosures; and no little difficulty arises from the distance of the market, the farmers being compelled to cart their produce to Campbelltown. The cattle are of the black Highland breed, but small, and altogether inferior; the sheep are of the ordinary black-faced kind. Great efforts have been made for many years past to improve the breed of horses, and those used for agricultural and other purposes are now of superior condition. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9532. The rocks consist principally of mica, quartz, limestone, and whinstone, which, in some parts near the shore, are varied with different admixtures. The district is bare of natural wood, the very small portion seen here being only brushwood, and in detached spots; but within the last forty years, plantations of larch and other forest-trees have been formed to some extent, and are kept in good order.
Great discouragements, however, operate against such improvements, for, though the soil is considered particularly suited to the growth of trees, the severity of the climate, the fury of the winds, and the sea air unite together to neutralize, to a considerable extent, the efforts of the planter. The chief seats are those of Largie and Glenbarr, the former an ancient family mansion, and the latter a modern residence built in the style of a priory. The parish contains only two small hamlets, and the great bulk of the population are cottars or day labourers, dwelling in very humble tenements, and but scantily provided with the necessaries of life. A few persons are employed in taking lobsters, which they send by the steamers to the Irish and Liverpool markets; but the fine fish of the usual kinds abounding on the western coast, and the shoals of herrings passing by, are almost entirely neglected. Turf and peat are the ordinary fuel, obtained from a considerable distance, and with great labour. The public road from Inverary to Campbelltown passes through the district. An annual fair is held here regularly for the hiring of harvest servants. The parish is in the presbytery of Cantyre and synod of Argyll, and in the patronage of the Duke of Argyll: the minister has a stipend of £178, with a manse, and a glebe of nearly eight acres, valued at £10 per annum. There are two churches, the one erected in 1787, and the other in 1826, containing respectively 650 and 750 sittings. The parish contains two parochial schools, affording instruction in the ordinary branches: the master of the first school has £31. 6. salary, and a house and garden, and the master of the second, a salary of £20; the fees of both are about £15. A school is supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, the master receiving a salary of £22, with a house, and two and a half acres of land, purchased by a bequest; and another is maintained by the General Assembly's Committee, the master of which has £25 per annum, with a house and a portion of land. The poor enjoy the interest of a bequest of £1000, made by Captain Norman Macalister, late governor of Prince of Wales' Island. Near the middle of the parish is the ruin of an old castle, said to have belonged to the Macdonalds, lords of the Isles; and in several places are tumuli, and circles of stones, usually called Druidical circles.
CAMPBELLTOWN, a burgh and parish, in the district of Cantyre, county of Argyll; containing with the villages of Dalintober and Drumlemble, 9634 inhabitants, of whom 5028 are in the burgh, 60 miles (W. S. W.) from Glasgow. The name of this place was once Dalruadhain, from its being the seat of the ancient Celtic Scots, and subsequently Lochhead, from its situation at the inland extremity of the loch of Kilkerran. Prior to the commencement of the eighteenth century, it was merely an inconsiderable fishing village; but it was erected into a royal burgh, through the interest of the Duke of Argyll, in 1700, and then assumed its present name, in compliment to the family of its patron. The town, which, since that period, has greatly increased in extent and importance, is beautifully situated on the southern shore of the lake or inlet now called Campbelltown bay, along which it extends in the form of a crescent. It consists of several spacious and well-formed streets, diverging to the east and west from the central or main street, which leads from the old quay to the Castle hill, formerly the seat of the ancient lords of the Isles, and now the site of the church. Parallel with these, to the south, are various streets, of which Argyll-street, leading to the grounds and mansion of the duke, is intersected at right angles by several others, of which one extends from the new pier to the Gaelic church. The streets are well paved, and lighted with gas; and the inhabitants are supplied, though scantily, with excellent water, conveyed from a spring in the neighbourhood, at the expense of the burgh. There are two circulating libraries, which are furnished with journals and periodical publications. The immediate environs abound with handsome seats and villas, the residences of numerous respectable families, ranged along the north and south shores of the bay, which is nearly two miles in length, and about one mile in breadth, and is enlivened with gentlemen's pleasure-boats, and by the frequent arrival and departure of the steamers navigating the Clyde.
Seal and Arms The trade of the town arises chiefly from its distilleries, and fisheries, which are carried on to a very great extent. There are not less than twenty-five distilleries, which together, in 1842, consumed 303,711 bushels of barley, and 79,508 bushels of bear; producing 747,502 gallons of whisky, of which 12,978 gallons were shipped for England, 3413 to Ireland, 4346 to foreign parts, and the remainder, 58,760 gallons, principally to Glasgow. The trade of the port consists mainly in the exportation of whisky, malt, black-cattle, sheep, horses, beans, potatoes, turnips, and other agricultural produce, with butter, cheese, and fish; and in the importation of barley, yeast, coal, timber, iron, and general merchandise. The fish taken off the coast are of the usual variety of white fish, and, till recently, were caught by single lines, in great numbers; but the quantity has been greatly increased by the introduction of lines of great length, floated on the surface of the water by buoys, and to which are appended numerous single lines, of length sufficient to reach the depth at which the fish are most generally found. About 500 families are employed in this fishery. The herring-fishery is extensively carried on, during the months of June, July, and August; and in 1843, 150 boats, of four men each, were engaged in this fishery, in the sound of Kilbrandon. Cod, haddock, and ling are also taken in abundance, and are partly sent in a fresh state to Glasgow, whence they are conveyed to the neighbouring towns, and partly dried for the purpose of exportation to distant markets. The number of vessels registered, as belonging to the port, is thirty-three, chiefly sloops and schooners in the coasting trade; this is exclusive of the number of fishing-boats, which is very considerable, and there is also a vessel of 515 tons, employed in the timber trade with Canada. In 1842, 646 vessels entered inwards, and 365 cleared outwards, two of which were in the foreign trade. The customhouse department is under the superintendence of a collector, comptroller, and two tide-waiters; and the excise-office has a collector, two clerks, three supervisors, and fifty officers. The harbour is sheltered on the north and south by lofty hills, and on the south-east by the isle of Devar, with which it is joined, on the south side, by a bar of sand nearly half a mile in length, which is visible at low water, and, by intercepting the violence of the waves, renders the anchorage peculiarly safe. The entrance is from the north, by a narrow channel of great depth; and the harbour, which has generally from three to fifteen fathoms water, has two boldly projecting piers, of which the eastern, called the new pier, is of recent formation. The quays are well adapted for the loading and unloading of vessels, and every requisite accommodation has been provided, for facilitating the trade of the port. The market, which is on Thursday, is amply supplied with grain and agricultural produce; and fairs are held for cattle, horses, and various kinds of merchandise, at Whitsuntide, Lammas, Michaelmas, and Candlemas. In the market-place, which is in the centre of the main street, is an ancient cross, richly sculptured with foliage, and supposed to have been brought from Iona. By a charter of William III., the town, which was previously a burgh of barony, was erected into a royal Burgh, and the government vested in a provost, two bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, and twelve councillors, who are elected under
the provisions of the Municipal Reform act. The burgesses have no privileges beyond the freedom of carrying on trade within the burgh; the fees of admission are, to a stranger, as a merchant burgess, £3. 3., and as a craftsman, £2. 2., and to the sons, sons-in-law, or apprentices of burgesses, one-half of those sums. The magistrates hold courts for civil matters, to any amount; in criminal cases, their jurisdiction is confined to misdemeanours and offences against the police, in which they are assisted by the town-clerk, who acts as their assessor. The town-house, situated in the central part of the town, is a neat building, with a handsome spire, and contains two council chambers for the transaction of public business, and a spacious hall in which the courts are held. Above these, is the prison for debtors, consisting of two apartments; and on the ground-floor, are three cells for criminals, all badly ventilated and lighted, and of which two are damp. The burgh is associated with Ayr, Irvine, Inverary, and Oban, in returning a member to the imperial parliament; the parliamentary boundaries extend beyond those of the royalty of the burgh, including the populous villages of Dalintober and Dalaruin. The number of householders of the rent of £10 and upwards, within the royalty, is 165, of whom seventy-four are burgesses; and beyond the royalty, but within the parliamentary boundary, forty. The parish forms a portion of the peninsula of Cantyre, including the ancient parishes of Kilkivan, Kilmichael, and Kilchonsland, which were united about the time of The Reformation. It is bounded on the east by the sound of Kilbrandon, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and is about thirteen miles in length, and from six to ten in breadth, comprising an area of 87½ square miles; two-thirds of the land are arable, and the remainder pasture, heath, and waste. The surface is diversified with hills, rising both from the north and south shores of the bay of Campbelltown, and varying from 800 to 1000 feet in height. Of these, the highest is Bengaillin, about a mile from the town, and commanding an extensive prospect, embracing, to the north-west, the islands of Islay, Jura, and Gigha; to the north-east, the isles of Arran, Bute, and Cowal, with the Frith of Clyde; to the south, the lowlands as far as Loch Ryan, with Ailsa Craig; and to the south-west, the coast of Ireland, with the isle of Rathlin. Between the town and the bay of Machrihanish, which indents the western shore, is a tract of level ground, about four miles in length, and nearly three in breadth, called the Laggan of Cantyre, having an elevation of nearly forty feet above the sea, and of which the soil has the appearance of being alluvial. The soil of the parish is extremely various, but, in many parts, of considerable fertility; the principal crops are, bear, oats, barley, potatoes, which are raised in large quantities, and beans. The system of agriculture is improved, and much of the waste land has been drained; the hills, of which some are cultivated on the acclivities, afford pasturage for black-cattle and sheep, the latter of the native breed. The substrata are chiefly sandstone, limestone, and ironstone, and the rocks are composed of mica-slate, porphyry, greywacke, and trap; some beautiful varieties of green, brown, and other porphyry, occur on the island of Devar. Coal is found within three miles of the town, but of inferior quality; and there are several mines in operation, formerly wrought by a company, for the supply of the town, to which the coal is conveyed by a canal. Several plantations, chiefly of ash, elm, plane, larch, and Scotch and spruce firs, are in a very thriving state. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Cantyre, of which Campbelltown is the seat, and the synod of Argyll; there are two ministers, of whom one officiates in the Gaelic, and the other in the English language. The minister of the first charge, which is the Gaelic, has a stipend of £146. 15. 10., whereof about one-third is paid from the exchequer, with a manse, and three glebes, valued at £92 per annum; and the minister of the second charge has a stipend of the same amount, with a glebe valued at £26. 10. per annum; patron, the Duke of Argyll.
The Gaelic church, which had been, for some time, in a dilapidated condition, was rebuilt in 1803, and contains 2000 sittings; the English church, which occupies the site of the ancient castle of the lords of the Isles, was built in 1780, and contains 1200 sittings. A chapel of ease has been proposed for the village of Coalhill, near the town; and in the burgh are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the Relief and Secession Synods, Independents, and Roman Catholics. The parochial school is consolidated with that of the burgh; the master, who is appointed by the town-council, subject to the approval of the presbytery, has a salary of £34. 4. 4., paid by the heritors and the burgh, together with a house adapted for the reception of boarders, and an excellent garden; his fees average about £150 per annum, out of which he has to pay an assistant. Miss Campbell, of Govan Bank, built two schools at Dalintober, at an expense of £1150; and for their endowment, she bequeathed to the Kirk Session, the sum of £4600. The same lady left £600 to the female school of industry, £300 towards the support of a parochial missionary, £300 to the Sabbath schools, £600 to the Female Benevolent Society, and £500 to the poor of the parish.
SOUTHEND, a parish, in the district of Cantyre, county of Argyll, 7½ miles (S. by W.) from Campbelltown; containing, with the island of Sanda, 1594 inhabitants. This place takes its present name, which it has had only since the Reformation, from its position at the southern extremity of the peninsula of Cantyre. It consists of the ancient parishes of Kilcolmkill and Kilblaan, the former name signifying "the cell or church of St. Columba, the founder of churches," and the latter "the church of St. Blaan." On the east and south it is bounded by the Frith of Clyde and the North Channel, on the west by the Atlantic, and on the north by the parish, town, and harbour of Campbelltown; and it comprehends, besides the main land portion, the small island of Sanda, at a short distance on the south-east, and the much smaller ones of Glunamore and Sheep isle, both close to the former. The parish extends eleven miles in extreme length, measures about five miles at its greatest breadth, and comprises 32,318 acres, of which one-fourth are computed to be under cultivation as arable and pasture, the proportion of the arable to the pasture being about one to five: the wood, natural and planted, comprehends only from 100 to 150 acres. The line of coast is about nineteen miles in extent; and though sandy towards the east, on the side opposite the Atlantic it is bold, rocky, and commanding in its aspect: it contains numerous caves, some headlands, and several bays girt with coral rocks, of which those affording the best anchorage are Dunaverty, Carskey, and Machririoch. The Mull of Cantyre, the Epidium Promontorium of the Romans, is the chief headland, and the nearest point of land in Britain to Ireland, the distance being only eleven and a half miles from the promontory to Tor Point, in the county of Antrim. This rocky projection, as is well known, is lofty and imposing in its appearance, and exhibits an assemblage of massive pillars overhanging the ocean in dreary solitude, of a singular variety of forms, and of magnificent grandeur, bidding defiance with unbroken front to the most furious storms. Adjoining is the mountain of Knockmoy, the highest in the district, rising 2036 feet above the level of the sea, and forming a noted mark to all vessels coming from the west. The summit commands one of the most striking, diversified, and beautiful views in the upper districts of Scotland, embracing, in the midst of the fine clear swell of the adjacent deep, the islands of Islay, Rathlin, Jura, and Gigha, and, in the distance, the mountains of Mull. Towards the east, the Frith of Clyde appears stretched out with great effect, together with the towering hills of Arran, the Ayrshire coast, and the mountains of Carrick and Galloway, the horizon being bounded by the picturesque isle of Ailsa. The island of Sanda, separated from the main land by a channel three miles across, is of irregular form, about four miles in circumference, and being covered with good pasture, serves the purpose of a large sheep-farm. It has passed, at
different times, under different names, though its present appellation is considered the most ancient, on the authority of Adomnan, Abbot of Iona, who wrote the life of St. Columba in the year 680. During the visits of the Scandinavians to these coasts, and their attacks upon the district for the possession of Cantyre and the adjacent islands, Sanda, according to the historian Buchanan, was an important station for their fleets; when the Danish fleet assembled here the isle was called Avona Porticosa, and by the natives it is still termed Aven. The sound is much frequented for its anchorage by small vessels sailing up the Frith of Clyde, which has about twelve fathoms of water at three miles from the shore. The navigation on this coast requires great experience and caution, on account of some remarkable eddies and dangerous sunken rocks. One of the former, a rapid current resembling a whirlpool, runs about a mile and a half from the Mull, and often drives vessels on shore by taking a strong course to the eastward when the tide flows to the westward. A very dangerous rock, also, called Paterson's rock, nearly 300 yards long, lying E. S. E. of Sanda, and always covered at highwater, has been the occasion, partly through the force of the current, of many shipwrecks at different times. A lighthouse, called the Mull of Cantyre lighthouse, was commenced in 1786, and finished two years afterwards: the light, which was first exhibited on the night of the 1st of December, 1788, is known to mariners as a stationary light, and appears as a star of the first magnitude at the distance of six or seven leagues. This beacon, so important for the security of the navigation of the channel between Scotland and Ireland, is one of the series built by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, who were appointed by act of parliament in the year 1786, with a jurisdiction extending along the entire coast of Scotland and the Isle of Man. The structure stands on a cliff 280 feet above the level of the sea, and near the rocks usually known by the name of "the Merchants." It is bound by a shore composed of gigantic masses of mica-slate and quartz-rocks, continually lashed by the tremendous waves almost always in action in this quarter; while inland nothing is to be seen but mountains and morasses, the nearest habitation being five miles distant. A new road was formed to it through the mountains, in 1828, to increase the facilities of communication required in the transmission of the necessary articles. The surface of the interior is in some parts pleasingly diversified with rising grounds, and with valleys traversed by their respective streams, the chief of which are Coniglen and Glenbreckry, lying nearly parallel with each other. The stream Breckry, which runs through the latter, issues from Knockmoy, and loses itself in the sea at Carskey bay; while the Coniglen, the larger of the two, and which is often suddenly swollen, after travelling for some distance in a south-eastern course joins the Frith of Clyde at Dunaverty bay. The general scenery is wild and dreary; and the extensive ranges of rocky mountains contain large and cheerless peatbogs, the depositories of immense trunks of trees, constituting the remains of the forests with which the locality appears to have been anciently covered. The more cultivated portions of the parish, however, are frequently picturesque, though the great scarcity of wood deprives the surface of an important feature of a fine landscape. The soil varies considerably. The slopes generally exhibit a light gravelly earth, on a tilly subsoil; while moss, clay, loam, and other varieties are also seen in different places, with their usual mixtures and modifications. Towards the sea, on the eastern coast, that which prevails is of a light sandy nature; and alluvial deposits of some depth are found along the valleys, in which spots the cultivation is of course most ancient, and has been continued with least intermission. The crops are bear, oats, beans, potatoes, and turnips; the soil, especially in the eastern district, being considered too light for wheat and barley; though in some places, favoured with a deep loamy earth, it is thought that these kinds of grain might, with the security of good inclosures, be advantageously raised.
The land generally requires much draining, and by great efforts of this description nearly one-third has been added to the arable ground within the last few years; the Duke of Argyll has also straightened and embanked the water of Coniglen, at a cost of £1600, to the benefit of the surrounding property. Neither the sheep nor the cattle are remarkable for appearance or quality. The former, with the exception of a few Leicesters lately introduced upon the low lands, are an inferior variety of the native black-faced, with a mixture of Lintons; and the cattle are a cross between the Irish and West Highland, and not to be compared with those of the original breed in the upper country. The stock is perhaps deteriorated partly by the nature of the pasture, which, though sweet and nutritious where the soil is dry and genial, is often the reverse on account of a spongy, crude, and marshy subsoil. The husbandry of the parish is on the whole well conducted, and the farm-houses of the superior tenants are comfortable dwellings, though some of them are roofed only with straw; those, however, occupied by the cottar class are in many cases constructed of clay and turf, and are confined, damp, and cold. There are two mills on the property of the Duke of Argyll. The strata comprehend almost every kind of rock, in various combinations, and in some places imbedded with minerals, among which are fluor-spar and rock-crystal. The prevailing rocks, however, are sandstone, slate, quartz, and limestone; the first of these predominate, and of the last, as well as of whinstone, good quarries are in operation. The island of Sanda consists chiefly of sandstone of a reddish and a grey colour, veined with slaty clay of different hues; it supplied a large proportion of the material employed in the building of the parish church, and has been used for several of the principal mansions in the county. The rocks have an ornamental appearance on some parts of the coast, where, broken into different shapes, the cliffs loftily overhang the sea, and form, in some places, natural arches of considerable dimensions. Belts and clumps of plantations surround some of the chief mansions, and, being very uncommon in this quarter, attract the eye with great effect. The estate of Keil, a few years since a rude and uncultivated tract, has, by the plantation of some thousands of larch, poplar, and other trees, with the addition of good shrubberies, assumed a very beautiful appearance; and the mansion of Ballyshear, a handsome modern residence, has also received the improvement, in the adjacent grounds, of some well laid out plantations of considerable extent. Besides the above-named mansion, the parish contains those of Keilcolm-Keil, Carskey, and Levenstrath, the last surrounded by grounds ornamented with several choice clumps of thriving trees. The produce of the parish is usually sent for sale to Campbelltown, where several annual fairs are held, and also a weekly market for grain; and from near the same place, coal of an inferior kind is brought for fuel. The roads are well kept, and several good bridges have been built. The rateable annual value of Southend is £8763. The parish is in the presbytery of Cantyre and synod of Argyll, and in the patronage of the Duke of Argyll. The minister's stipend is £158, of which £91. 10. are paid by the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe of nearly eleven acres, valued at £15 per annum. The church, accommodating 500 persons, was built in 1774, and is in good repair; it is pleasantly situated on a rising ground, skirted by the stream of Coniglen on the southeast. There is also a place of worship for the Relief persuasion. The parochial school affords instruction in the ordinary branches; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with the legal accommodations, and £27. 5. fees. A new school-house has been erected recently. A second school is supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge; and there is another, partly dependent on an annual gratuity from the Duke of Argyll. The ruins of a religious edifice dedicated to St. Columba are still in good preservation, near the shore of Keil, at which spot, according to tradition, the saint landed on his way from Ireland to this country. The ruins, also, of a religious house dedicated to St. Coivin are to be seen; and also those of St. Catherine's chapel, on the bank of a stream in the retired vale of Glenadle, and adjacent to a cemetery and a holy well frequented, till lately, by sick persons. Obelisks and urns are to be found in various parts; and there are also the remains of several Danish forts, the principal one being near the Mull, on the summit of a precipitous rock 180 feet high, and surrounded by three walls.
Saddell and Skipness
SADDELL and SKIPNESS, a parish, in the district of Cantyre, county of Argyll; containing 1813 inhabitants, of whom 846 are in Saddell, and 967 in Skipness, respectively 19 and 32 miles (N. by E.) from Campbelltown. The name of the first of these places has been at different times written in ancient documents Saundle, Sandel, and Sandale, signifying in the Scandinavian language "a sandy plain." The term Skipness, in the same language, means "a ship-point," and was used in reference to the place on account of its having been a central station for the rendezvous of the northern fleets, during the period of their attacks upon this coast. The two districts, the former having been disjoined from Killean, and the latter from Kilcalmonell, were united in 1753. An abbey of considerable note was founded in Saddell about the year 1160, by Somerled, Lord of the Isles, who, in 1158, with a fleet of fifty-three ships had seized Cantyre and the Western Isles, then belonging to the crown of Man, and made himself an independent chief. This religious house, which was finished and endowed by Reginald, his son and successor, was for monks of the Cistercian order, and was situated in a beautifully secluded spot in the midst of majestic trees, which still overshadow its ruins. Its church was in the form of a cross, the extremities respectively pointing to the four cardinal points; the length from east to west was about 136 feet by twenty-four, and that of the transepts from north to south, seventy-eight feet by twenty-four. Other buildings were appended, giving to the whole a quadrangular form. The parish is bounded on the east by the sound of Kilbrandon, which separates it from the Island of Arran; and on the south by Campbelltown. It is of a long irregular figure, stretching twenty-five miles in extreme length, and three in average breadth, and comprising considerable portions of well-cultivated arable ground, with some good pastures, and large tracts of moor, heath, and mountain. The line of coast is very circuitous, and diversified with numerous creeks, promontories, and bays; the last are often spacious, though rocky at the entrance, and generally embrace a fine expanse of water having a good sandy beach. The headlands are in general low, and of various forms, but all projecting towards the south-east. In the neighbouring waters, in every direction, cod, ling, mackerel, haddock, whiting, and other kinds of fish, are to be found in great abundance, though mostly neglected by the natives. The surface of the interior is also much diversified, and displays a great variety of undulations, numerous hills covered with heath, and dreary mountains and moors, with several spacious valleys. Some of the last, near the sea, are ornamented with interesting mansions surrounded by verdant inclosures, tasteful gardens and shrubberies, and well laid out grounds. The highest mountain is Benintuirk, rising 2170 feet above the level of the sea, and commanding beautiful views which embrace the Isle of Arran, the Frith of Clyde, the Craig of Ailsa, and the Irish Channel, with many other more distant objects. The most attractive prospect, however, though much less extensive, is from the southern quarter, whence may be surveyed a mixed landscape of the first order, combining numerous striking features of both Highland and Lowland scenery with great effect. The valleys have each their own streams, generally well stocked with trout, and which, after marking with their respective channels the sides of the mountains, slowly wind their way, in many places through secluded hollows and recesses, till they lose themselves in the waters of the ocean. Most of the moors are spangled with silvery lakes, which also abound with trout; and the lakes and marshes originate several rivers, some of them stocked with par and good-sized salmon. The chief streams in the parish are the Skipness, Claonaig, Crossaig, Sunadale, Torrisdale, Saddell, and Carradale, the last a fine angling stream, and in much repute.
The soil on the higher grounds is a light earth with an admixture of gravel, but along the streams, a kind of alluvial slimy compost; the subsoil in most places is rock, clay, or gravel, but near the sea, pure white sand. The meadows consist principally of moss, or of a deep rich loam resting on clay. The husbandry till recently was very indifferent, the body of the people having united other avocations with that of farming; but the most improved system has been now introduced by some of the landholders, with extensive draining, in consequence of which great advances have been made. The farms vary in extent from 250 to 1500 acres, and the rent of arable land averages 17s. 6d. per acre. The predominating rock is mica-slate; but quartz is also abundant, running generally parallel with the former, though sometimes crossing it at right angles. Large detached blocks of granite are also to be seen, of a very hard texture; and in a quarry at Carradale have been found fine specimens of obsidian, a species of lava which, though almost black in the mass, when cut into thin pieces exhibits the hue of dark green glass. The natural wood, which is scattered in different places, comprises oak, ash, hazel, birch, and alder; fine old foresttrees occur in some of the plantations, and Scotch fir and larch are in many parts abundant and in a thriving condition. The rateable annual value of Saddell and Skipness is £5251. The population has partially declined of late years, owing in some measure to the breaking up of the cottar system, and the consolidation of small farms. The parish is principally agricultural and pastoral; but many hands which are employed in husbandry give also a large part of their time to fishing, especially those who dwell on the coast; and about sixty-five boats, chiefly for taking herrings at a distance, belong to the place, usually carrying three men each. Cod and ling are also sometimes caught; and salmon both at Carradale and Skipness, with much success: lobsters are abundant, and of excellent quality. The parish is ecclesiastically in the presbytery of Cantyre and synod of Argyll, and in the patronage of the Duke of Argyll: the minister's stipend is £150, of which more than a third is paid by the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe of twenty acres, valued at about £30 per annum. There are two parish churches, thirteen miles apart, one situated at Carradale, and in good repair, and the other at Claonaig, which is in a dilapidated state: they accommodate respectively 354 and 288 persons. Two parochial schools are also maintained, affording instruction in the ordinary branches; the masters each receive a salary of £25. 13. 4., with a house, grass for a cow, and £4 fees: these schools were not established until 1822. The most interesting relic of antiquity is the ruin of the celebrated monastery of Saddell, which however has nearly disappeared, the materials having been quarried out of late years for various uses. The castle of Skipness is an ancient and venerable pile of square form, with a court, the outer wall comprehending a space of 450 feet; and at Saddell, also, is a castle of the same figure, of considerable size, and formerly surrounded by water. Along the coast are ruins of several forts, generally situated on the headlands; and a few tumuli are to be seen. The churchyard is remarkable for the number of singularly curious inscriptions and figures carved upon the gravestones, and as the place of sepulture of many persons celebrated in former times. The Rev. Donald McNicol, a great scholar and antiquary, and author of the Review of Dr. Johnson's Tour to the Hebrides, was minister of the parish in 1753.
Gigha and Cara
GIGHA and CARA, a parish, in the district of Cantyre, county of Argyll, 21½ miles (S. by W.) from Tarbert; containing 550 inhabitants. Some persons derive the name of the former of these two districts from the compound Gaelic term Eilean-Dhia, signifying "God's island;" others are of opinion that it may be traced to the word geodha, "a creek," applied on account of the numerous inlets and bays here. The word Cara is supposed to signify "a monastery."
The parish consists of two islands, situated in the Atlantic Ocean, between the southern portion of the island of Islay and the peninsula of Cantyre, and separated from the latter by a channel 3½ miles across, in which the current is often extremely strong, especially at new and full moon. They are both but little elevated above the sea: the highest point in Gigha, called Creag-bhan, or "the white rock," rises only to the height of 400 feet; and Cara, situated a mile and a half south of the former island, has, in this respect, the same general appearance. Gigha measures in length, from north to south, almost seven miles, and is two and a half miles in extreme breadth; Cara is nearly a mile in length, and half a mile in breadth, and the two isles comprise together about 4000 acres, of which half are arable, ten under plantation, and the remainder pasture and waste. The coast of Gigha is computed at twenty-five miles in extent, being very circuitous in consequence of the great number of its creeks; on the west side it is bold and rocky, and contains, near the middle, a cave called the Great Cave, and another named the Pigeons' Cave, from the many wild-pigeons frequenting it. Though rugged, however, along the larger part of the western line, there are, at the two extremities, and on the eastern side, several bays well adapted for bathing, and containing a fine white sand, formerly exported in large quantities to Dumbarton, for the manufacture of glass. In about the centre of the eastern coast is the bay of Ardminish, ornamented at its head by the church and manse, and resorted to by vessels taking away produce, or bringing to the island coal, lime, and other commodities. A little north of this is the bay of Drimyeon, a spacious and secure retreat; and firm anchorage is also usually found in all the other bays in the island, especially in that of Tarbert, within a mile of its north-eastern extremity. Between Gigha and Cara is the small uninhabited islet of Gigulum; and between this and Gigha is a sound affording good anchorage for large shipping, and much used by government cutters, and by vessels trading with the northern Highlands, as well as by those from England and Ireland, which visit this and the adjacent parish of Killean for the purchase of seed-potatoes. The principal entrance to the sound is from the east, rocks lying on the opposite side. The most prominent headland in the parish, called Ardminish point, is on the north side of the bay of that name. At the south-west end of Gigha is Sloc-an-leim, or "the springing pit" a subterraneous passage 133 feet long, into which the sea rushes with considerable fury. The shore of the island of Cara is rocky and steep, except towards the north-east; and at its southern extremity is a precipitous rock, 117 feet high, called the Mull of Cara, thronged by sea-fowl, and the resort, too, of the hawk. Around this coast also, as well as that of the other islands, mackerel, sea-perch, lythe, rock-cod, and many other fish are found; and cod, ling, and large haddocks may be obtained on the banks, two or three miles distant. Some rocky portions of the surface of Gigha are covered with various species of lichen, of which those named parmelia, sticta-ramalina, and lecanora are much esteemed as valuable dyes; and the juniper, which is abundant and prolific upon the eastern coast, supplies in the summer and autumn quantities of berries, here used in order to flavour whisky. Many tracts are clothed with stunted heath; but the surface is in different places pleasingly diversified with knolls and hillocks, profusely ornamented with musk roses. On the coast is found the ulva-latissima, used as a pickle, as well as the different kinds of Carigean moss. The soil is a rich loam, containing in some parts an admixture of sand, clay, and moss; it is tolerably fertile, and produces good crops of bear, oats, potatoes, and turnips. The land is particularly adapted to the growth of the last, but, in consequence of the demand for seed-potatoes, especially for Ireland, more attention is paid to the cultivation of these than the turnips.
A small part of the arable land is still under the old system of husbandry, the larger property only being subject to the rotation of crops; the farms are to some extent inclosed and subdivided, but the buildings require further improvement. There is a corn-mill, to which a new road was lately formed at a cost of £250; the mill itself has been repaired, and among other improvements that have been found of general advantage is the draining of the Mill-dam loch, affording an opportunity to the people to obtain from it turf for fuel. A few sheep are reared, of the Cheviot breed, and many from other places are wintered here; about 1000 hogs, also, are annually brought, at the close of autumn, from Jura and other contiguous parts, to be tended at the rate of 2s. 6d. each for five months. The rateable annual value of Gigha and Cara is £2091. The strata of the parish comprise mica-slate, felspar-slate, quartz, and hornblende, with chlorite-slate, crossed in many places at right angles by basaltic dykes; and boulders of hornblende are frequently seen both on, and a little below, the surface, measuring two and three feet in diameter. Traces of copper are observable in Gigha, and of iron-ore at the south end of Cara. The plantations, which are but few, consist of oak, ash, larch, plane, Scotch fir, and pineaster, the last being less affected by the sea air and storms than any of the other kinds. The population exhibit more of the maritime than of the agricultural character; the young men generally become sailors, and a large proportion of the rest are engaged in fishing for cod and ling for several months, beginning about Candlemas. Upwards of twenty boats, carrying four men each, are engaged in this pursuit; they proceed to the banks already referred to, north-west and south-west of the parish, and usually take as many fish as enable them, after a plentiful supply for their own families, to dispose of about fifty tons. These, when cured, are sold at Glasgow, Greenock, and Campbelltown, at from £10 to £14 per ton. Besides the fishing-boats and twenty of smaller size, a vessel of thirty tons and another of fourteen are employed in carrying agricultural produce to market; they convey annually, on the average, 800 tons of potatoes, 400 quarters of bear, and 150 quarters of oats, besides black-cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs, and a considerable portion of dairy produce. Coal, lime, and other articles are imported; and vessels of large burthen visit the parish from Ireland, England, and the Clyde, for potatoes, and sometimes for cod and ling. A steam-boat, running between Loch Tarbert and Islay, passes Gigha three times weekly in summer, and once in winter; there is also a ferry from each of the properties to Tayinloan, a hamlet on the Mainland, where is the receivinghouse for letters. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the presbytery of Cantyre and synod of Argyll, and the patronage belongs to the Duke of Argyll; the minister's stipend is £266, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £10 per annum. The church was built about the year 1780, and is in tolerable repair. The parochial school affords instruction in English and Gaelic, and Latin is also taught, with all the usual branches; the master has a salary of £25. 13., with a house, and about £14 fees. At the distance of a mile from the present church may be seen the walls of the former edifice, with a stone font, standing in the midst of the burial-ground. About the centre of Gigha is Dun-Chifie, formerly, as is traditionally reported, a strong fortification occupied by Keefie, the King of Lochlin's son, who, it is said, was killed here by Diarmid, one of the heroes of Fingal.
GIGULUM ISLE, in the parish of Gigha and Cara, district of Cantyre, county of Argyll. This is a small uninhabited islet, situated between the islands of Gigha and Cara; and in the sound between Gigulum and Gigha is good anchorage ground for large vessels, as is more particularly noticed in the article on the parish.
NOTE TOO - Gigha Isle
GIGHA ISLE, in the parish of Barra, county of Inverness. It is one of the Hebrides, and lies north-east of Barra island, having Ottervore bay on the west: the isle is of small extent, and is inhabited.