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Parish of Kilfinan

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

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1791-99: Kilfinan
1834-45: Kilfinan

Kilfinan, a village and a parish in Cowal district, Argyllshire. The village, standing ¾ mile inland from Kilfinan Bay, on the E side of Loch Fyne, and 5¾ miles NNW of Tighnabruaich, has a post office under Greenock; and enjoys ample communication with the Clyde by means of the Loch Fyne and other steamers.

The parish, containing also the village of Tighnabruaich, is bounded N by Stralachlan, NE by Kilmodan, E by Loch Riddon and the Kyles of Bute, S by the convergence of the Kyles of Bute and Kilbrannan Sound, and W and NW by Loch Fyne. Its utmost length, from N by W to S by E, is 143/8 miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 5¾ miles; and its area is 33,763 acres, of which 1288 are foreshore and 174 water. The coast, with a total extent of 28¼ miles, terminates at the southern extremity in Ardlamont Point, and elsewhere is diversified by a number of smaller headlands and bays, including, particularly on its W side, Kilfinan, Auchalick, and Kilbride Bays. In some parts it is steep and rocky, in others sloping or gradually declivitous, and in others low and arable. The interior, for the most part, is very rugged, with numerous hills running N and S, but it is interspersed with arable vales and hollows, and the hills are not remarkable for either height or contour. The principal summits, from S to N, are Cnocan a' Chorra (414 feet), Cnoc na Carraige (680), Creag Mhor (869), Beinn Capuill (1419), Beinn Bhreac (1488), Cruach Kilfinan (1068), Barr Ganuisg (507), Meall Reamhar (947), and Cruach nan Gearran (1230); and most of these command splendid views of the Kyles of Bute, the lower reaches of Loch Fyne, and the lower parts of Knapdale across to the Hebrides. The northern division of the parish is called Otter, from a singular sand-bank noticed separately. The southern is known as Kerriff or Kerry, signifying 'a quarter' or 'fourth-part'; and, as it is by far the larger division, and contains the parish church, it often gives name to the entire parish. Loch na Melldalloch (4 x 1½ furl.) and Loch Asgog (4 x 2 furl.) lie respectively 3 and 6 miles S by E of Kilfinan village, and both are well stored with trout. Mica slate is the prevailing rock, but trap occurs in two or three places, and limestone abounds in the N. The soil on low level tracts near the sea is mostly of fine light sharp character, on pretty extensive tracts further inland is mossy, and elsewhere is very various. Barely one-twelfth of the entire area is in tillage, a very great extent is disposed in pasture, and a considerable aggregate is clothed with natural wood. Antiquities are remains of cairns, Caledonian stone circles, several dunes, and Lamont Castle. At Kames is a gunpowder factory. The mansions are Ardlamont, Ardmarnock, Ballimore, and Otter; and 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 3 of between £100 and £500, 10 of from £50 to £100, and 28 of from £20 to £50. Kilfinan is in the presbytery of Dunoon and synod of Argyll; the living is worth £312. The parish church, at the village, was almost wholly rebuilt in 1759, and, with the exception of the outside walls, was entirely renovated and rearranged in 1882. It contains 200 sittings, and is a very neat and comfortable church. A quoad sacra church is at Tighnabruaich, a mission church is at Kilbride, and there are also Free churches of Kilfinan and Tighnabruaich. Five public schools-Ardlamout, Kilfinan, Millhouse, Otter, and Tighnabruaich-with respective accommodation for 23, 80, 136, 37, and 156 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 12, 27, 93, 12, and 107, and grants of £26, 4s., £38, 13s., £54, 2s. 8d., £25, 11s., and £89, 7s. Valuation (1860) £5150, (1883) £15,129, 11s. 4d. Pop. (1801) 1432, (1831) 2004, (l861) 1891, (1871) 2228, (1881) 2153, of whom 1377 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur., sh. 29, 1873.

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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