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Parish of Glassary

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: Glassary
1834-45: Glassary

Kilmichael-Glassary or Glassary, village and parish in Argyll district, Argyllshire. The village stands, 50 feet above sea level, o the right bank o the Add, 4 miles by W of Lochgilphead, under which it has a post office. Once a place of some little note, as seat of the baron-bailie courts of the Campbells of Achnabreck, it has dwindled down to a mere church hamlet, but retains two cattle fairs on the last Wednesday of Ma and the Tuesday before the last Wednesday of October.

The parish, containing also the town of Lochgilphead, the hamlet of Lochgair, and part of the village of Ford-Lochawe, is bounded NW by Kilmartin and the upper 53/8 miles of Loch Awe, NE by Kilchrenan-Dalavich and Imeraray, SE and S by Loch Fyne, and SW and W by South Knapdale, North Knapdale, and Kilmartin. Its utmost length, from NNE to SSW, is 15¾ miles; its utmost width is 8¼ miles; and its area is 94 square miles or 60,229 acres. The river Add, formed by two head-streams at an altitude of 600 feet above sea-level, and winding south-westward across the parish on its way to inner Loch Crinan, is the principal stream; and of numerous fresh-water lakes the larger are Loch Ederline (4 x 2 furl.; 122 feet) on the Kilmartin border, Loch Leacann (7 x 3 furl.; 1020 feet) on the Imeraray border, and Fincharn Loch (5 x furl.; 900 feet), Loch Gaineamhach (9 x 1¾ furl.; 856 feet), Loch Leathan (4½ x 2 furl.; 240 feet), and Loch Glashan (1¼ x ½ mile; 347 feet) in the interior. From the shores of Loch Fyne to those of Loch Awe extends wide desolate tract of hill and moss, which, including much bleak pasture, wild moorland, and irreclaimable waste, attains 1030 feet near Lochan Dubh, 704 near Craigmurrail, 772 at Dun Aha, 1377 at Beinn Ghlas, 1421 at Beinn Laoigh, and 1504 at Cruach Mhic Chaolie. The predominant rocks are mica slate, clay slate, and chlorite slate. Porphyry protrudes through the clay slates at Cumlodden in masses 700 to 800 feet high, and extends over a tract of several miles; limestone, too, is plentifully interspersed through the slates; and granite and porphyry boulders are scattered over the hills. Nearly fifty years since a copper mine was opened unsuccessfully on Brainchaoille farm. The soil along Loch Fyne is gravelly, but to the SW and along Loch Awe is mostly a deep dark fertile loam. Peat occurs in every part, and at every elevation. Antiquities are the ruins of Fionncharn Castle on Loch Awe, of four hill-forts, and of four pre-Reformation chapels-Kilbride in the W end of the parish, Kilmory near Lochgilphead, Killevin on Loch Fyne, and Kilneuair on Loch Awe. Kirnan, 1 ¾ mile NNE of the village, was the home of the forefathers of Campbell, the poet, and is mournfully celebrated in his 'Lines on visiting a Scene in Argyllshire.' The mansions are Kilmory House, Castleton, Ederline House, Lochgair House, and Minard Castle; and 6 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 8 of between £100 and £500, 7 of from £50 to £100, and 29 of from £20 to £50. Giving off portions to Lochgilphead and Cumlodden quoad sacra parishes, Kilmichael-Glassary is in the presbytery of Inveraray and synod of Argyll; the living is worth £375. The parish church, with 1300 sittings, was built in 1827, and, much injured by lightning in 1830, was afterwards repaired and improved. In 1873 it was taken down and rebuilt by the heritors on a scale better suited to the population, being now seated for 300. There are also a chapel of ease at Lochgair and a Free church at Minard; and four public schools -Ford, Glassary, Lochgair, and Minard-with respective accommodation for 60, 100, 60, and 98 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 36, 81, 37, and 66, and grants of £46, 8s., £83, 14s. 6d., £39, 13s., and £50, 10s. Valuation (1860) £14,449, (1883) £19,709. Pop. (1801) 3293, (1831)4054,(1861)4473,(1871)4393,(1881) 4348, of whom 2991 were Gaelic-speaking, and 1486 belonged to Kilmichael-Glassary ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., shs. 37, 29, 36, 1873-83.

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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