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Kenmore

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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Kenmore (Gael. cean-Mhoire, 'Mary's headland,), a village and a parish in Breadalbane district, central Perthshire. The village, 6 miles WSW of Aberfeldy, 17 NE by E of Killin, and 22 NNW of Crieff, crowns a gentle headland, projecting into the lower or NE end of Loch Tay, and washed on the N side by the river Tay, which here, at its efflux from the lake, is spanned by a handsome five-arch bridge. A pleasant little place, with its two churches, its neat white cottages, and its close proximity to Taymouth Castle, it has a post office under Aberfeldy, a good hotel, an orphanage, coach and steamer communication with Aberfeldy and Killin, and fairs on the first Tuesday of March o. s., 28 June, 26 July, the Wednesday in October before Falkirk Tryst, the Friday in November before the last Doune Tryst, and 24 Dec. The view from the bridge is one of almost unrivalled loveliness; and Burns, who came hither on 28 Aug. 1787, wrote over the chimney-piece of the inn parlour what Lockhart pronounces among the best of his English heroics-

'Admiring Nature in her wildest grace,
These northern scenes with weary feet I trace:
O'er many a winding dale and painful steep.
h' abodes of covey'd grouse and timid sheep,
My savage journey, curious, I pursue
Till famed Breadalbane opens to my view.
The meeting cliffs each deep-sunk glen divides -
The woods, wild scatter'd. clothe their ample sides:
Th' outstretching lake, embosom'd mid the hills,
The eye with wonder and amazement fills:
The Tay, meand'ring sweet in infant pride:
The palace rising on its verdant tide:
The lawns, wood-fring'd in Nature's native taste:
The hillocks, dropt in Nature's careless haste:
The arches. striding o'er the new-born stream:
The village. glittering in the noontide beam.'

Wordsworth came hither, too, on 5 Sept. 1805, along with his sister Dorothy; and she writes in her Journal -'When we came in view of the foot of the lake, we perceived that it ended, as it had begun, in pride and loveliness. The view, though not near so beautiful as that of Killin, is exceedingly pleasing,' etc.

The parish, containing also the villages of Acharn and Stronfearnan, comprises a main body and five detached sections, the area of the whole being 113 1/3 square miles or 72,542 acres, of which 5346 ½ are water, and 32, 841 ¼ belong to the main body. This, bounded N by Fortingall, NE by Dull, S by Comrie, and on all other sides by fragments of Weem, Dull, Monzie, and Killin, has an utmost length from NNE to SSW of 11 1/8 miles, whilst its width varies between ¼ mile and 9 3/8 miles. The Kiltyrie or largest detached section is parted therefrom merely by a strip of Weem (detached), 3 furlongs wide at the narrowest, and, bounded W by Killin, NW by Fortingall, and on all other sides by fragments of Weem and Killin, has an utmost length from NNW to SSE of 8 3/8 miles, with an utmost width of 5 ¼ miles. In the Kiltyrie section and the main body are included nearly all the waters of Loch Tay, which, lying at an altitude of 355 feet above sea-level, extends 14 ½ miles north-eastward, and varies in width between ½ mile and 9½ furlongs, and which from its foot sends off the river Tay, winding 2 ¾ miles north-eastward till it passes off from the main body. From the shores of Loch Tay the surface rises southward to Creag Charbh (2084 feet), Meall Gleann a' Chloidh (2238), *Creag Uigeach (2840), Beinn Bhreac (2341), Creagan na Beinne (2909), and Creag an Fhudair (1683); northward to Meall nan Tarmachan (3421), and broad based, cairn-crowned *Ben Lawers (4004), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. Three smaller lakes are Lochan a' Chait (3 x 1 ¾ furl.; 2480 feet) and Lochan na Lairige (5 ¾ x 1 furl.; 1596 feet) on the north-eastern and western skirts of Ben Lawers, and Lochan Breaclaich (4 x 1 ¼ furl.; 1400 feet) to the S of Loch Tay.

The Glenlochy or second largest section, with an extreme length of 8 miles from N by E to S by W and a varying width of 9 furlongs and 4 ½ miles, is bounded SE and SW by Killin, and W, N, and E by fragments of Fortingall and Weem. The Lochy, flowing out of tiny Lochan Chailinn (1258 feet), has here a northeasterly course of 5 ¾ miles; and the Lyon, issuing from Loch Lyon, winds 2 ¼ miles east-by-northward along all the northern boundary. This section is almost completely rimmed by lofty mountains - *Beinn Dheiceach (3074), *Beinn Chaluinn (3354), *Creag Mhor (3305), and Beinn Heasgarnich (3530). Lower down the Lochy either bounds or traverses, for 1 7/8 and 1 5/8 mile, the two smaller sections of Tullich (6 5/8 x 2 7/8 miles) and Moirlanich (1 ¼ x 1 mile), in the former of which sections the highest summits are Meall Ghaordie (3407 feet) on the northern, and Creag Mhor (2359) near the southern, boundary. Lastly the Glenquaich section (4 ¼ x 1 5/8 miles) is bounded or traversed for 1 7/8 mile by the Quaich, includes a corner of Loch Freuchie (1 ¾ mile x 3 1/3 furl.; 880 feet), and rises northward to *Meall Dubh (2021 feet), southward to *Meall nam Fuaran (2631).

Such is the bare outline of the general features of this widely-dispersed Highland parish, whose beauties, antiquities, and history are noticed more fully in our articles Acharn, Ben Lawers, Breadalbane, Tay, Taymouth Castle, etc. Mica slate is the predominant rock; but gneiss, clay and chloride slate, quartz, and some varicties of hornblende slate are also plentiful, and beds of limestone occur in two or three places. The chloride slate, the quartz, and the limestone have been worked for building or other purposes. Lead, iron, and other ores exist in small quantities among the mountains. The soil of the arable lands is chiefly a light brownish loam, with a slight admixture of clay; that of much of the hill pastures has a light and mossy character. At most, one-eighth of the entire area is in tillage; nearly as much is under wood; and the rest is pasture, moorland, mountain, and moss, whose fishings and shootings however are very valuable. The Earl of Breadalbane is almost sole proprietor, 1 other holding an annual value of more, and 1 of less, than £50. Giving off its Glenquaich section to the quoad sacra parish of Amulree, Kenmore is in the presbytery of Weem and synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £340. The parish church, at the village, is a cruciform structure of 1760, with 300 sittings and a tower at the E end. Other places of worship are the Free churches of Kenmore, Ardeonaig, and Lawers, and Taymouth Episcopal chapel, St James'. Five public schools - Acharn, Ardtalnaig, Fearnan, Kiltyrie, and Lawers - with respective accommodation for 118, 86, 50, 51, and 93 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 74, 35, 26, 32, and 54, and grants of £87, 14s., £49, 17s., £36, 18s., £36, 8s., and £65, 2s. Valuation (1866) £11,064, 11s. 8d., (1883) £11,216, 10s. 8d. Pop. (1801) 3346, (1831) 3126, (1861) 1984, (1871) 1615, (1881) 1508, of whom 1152 were Gaelic-speaking, and 1432 were in Kenmore ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., shs. 55, 47, 46, 1869-72.

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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