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Old County of Argyllshire

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.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2016.

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1834-45: Argyle

Argyllshire, a maritime, western, Highland county, the second in Scotland as to size, the twelfth as to population. It comprehends a very irregularly outlined portion of the mainland, and a large number of the Western islands, the chief being Mull, Islay, Jura, Tiree, Coll, Rum, Lismore, and Colonsay. Extending from the extremity of Locheil district 11 miles N of Fort William to the extremity of Kintyre, 14 miles NE of the Antrim coast of Ireland, it is only 22 miles short of being half as long as the entire mainland of Scotland. It is bounded N by Inverness-shire, E by Perthshire, Dumbartonshire, and the northern ramifications and main expanse of the Firth of Clyde, S by the Irish Sea, and W by the Atlantic Ocean. Its greatest length, from N to S, is 115 miles; its greatest breadth, exclusive of the islands, is 55 miles; its greatest breadth, inclusive of the islands, is 87 miles; its breadth, over the southernmost 27 miles, is nowhere more than 9½ miles; and its area is 2,083,126 acres, or 3255 square miles, of which islands comprise about 1000 square miles. The outlines are so exceedingly irregular, the projections of mainland into ocean so bold, the intersections of mainland by sea-lochs so numerous and great, the interlockings of mainland and islands so intricate, and the distributions everywhere of land and water so manifold and erratic, that no fair notion of them can be formed except by examination of a map. No part of the interior is more than 12 miles distant from either the sea or some sea-loch. The entire circumference has been roughly stated at about 460 miles, and the proportion of the circumference washed by sea-water has been roughly stated at about 340 miles; but both of these estimates, if all the sinnosities of outline and sea-coast and sea-loch shore be followed, are greatly short of the reality.

The coast has every variety of elevation and contour, from alluvial flat and gentle slope to mural cliff and towering mountain, but gene

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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