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Lochgilphead

(Ceann Loch Gilb)
Argyll and Bute

The administrative centre of Argyll and Bute since 1975, Lochgilphead (Gael: Ceann Loch Gilb) lies at the head of Loch Gilp, an inlet on the western shore of Loch Fyne. Originally a small fishing village, it was laid out as a planned settlement following the construction of a new road linking Campbeltown with Inveraray in the 1780s. It subsequently served the Crinan Canal, which opened in 1801 and whose eastern terminus lies to the south at Ardrishaig. Lochgilphead developed as the county town of Argyllshire, a tourist resort and a centre servicing the surrounding rural area. Forestry, construction and the manufacture of knitwear are important local industries.

Situated at an important junction between the trunk roads connecting Oban, Kintyre and Inveraray, Lochgilphead benefits from a post office, Argyll & Bute Hospital, Mid-Argyll Sports Centre, a Masonic Lodge (1909), together with a supermarket, a good number of shops and a few hotels. The former Argyll Hotel (1887) on Lochnell Street is now Dalriada House, a Council office which is occupied by the Argyll Community Housing Association. Lochgilphead Police Buildings (1849) includes the police station and a court-room. Lochgilphead Parish Church was built as a Parliamentary Church by Thomas Telford in 1827 but replaced by the present building in 1885, which was the work of John M. Honeyman. The plain Free Church dates from 1843. St. Margaret's Roman Catholic Church is by Reginald Fairlie in 1929 and features fine stained glass. There is also a Baptist Church (1815) and an Episcopal Church (1851). The Empire Cinema was originally constructed for the 1938 Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. Thereafter the cinema was dismantled and rebuilt in Lochgilphead, serving the community here from 1939 until 1990. It is now a guest house. Lochgilphead Joint Campus School opened in 2007 and provides education for children from 3 to 18.

The headquarters of Argyll & Bute Council is in Kilmory Castle, a half-mile (1 km) to the south southeast of the village.


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