Parish of Killin

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: Killin
1834-45: Killin

Killin, a village and a parish in Breadalbane district, W Perthshire. The village stands on the peninsula between the confluent Dochart and Lochy, ¾ mile WSW of the head of Loch Tay, 23 miles WSW of Aberfeldy, and 4 NNE of Killin station on the Callander and Oban railway, this being 53¾ miles W of Oban, 17 NNW of Callander, 33 NW by N of Stirling, and 70¼ NW of Edinburgh. Both far and near it is girt by magnificent scenery, and, though a small and straggling place, it possesses no little importance at once as a centre for tourists and as a seat of local and provincial trade. The rivers, flowing among rich green fields; the headlong advance of the Dochart over big black rocks; the silent gliding of the gentler Lochy; the slopes of surrounding hills, fringed here and there with wood; Glendochart and Glenlochy, striking south-westward and west n north - westward in diversified grandeur; the monarch mountain of Ben Lawers (4004 feet), 7 miles to the NE, appearing there to fill half the horizon; and the long expanse of Loch Tay (14½ miles x 9½ furl.; 355 feet), extending past that mountain, with its gorgeous flanks of woods and hills,-all these combine to beautify the landscape. 'Killin,' wrote Dr M'Culloch, 'is the most extraordinary collection of extraordinary scenery in Scotland-unlike everything else in the country, and perhaps on earth, and a perfect picture gallery in itself, since you cannot move three yards without meeting a new landscape.. Fir trees, rocks, torrents, mills, bridges, houses-these produce the great bulk of the middle landscape, under endless combinations; while the distances more constantly are found in the surrounding hills, in their varied woods, in the bright expanse of the lake, and the minute ornaments of the distant valley, in the rocks and bold summit of Craigchailliach, and in the lofty vision of Ben Lawers, which towers like a huge giant in the clouds, the monarch of the scene.' A bridge of five unequal arches, across the Dochart, commands one of the best combinations of the views; and a grassy islet, studded with tall pines, immediately below that bridge, contains the burial-place of the Macnabs, once the potent chieftains of the surrounding country; whilst a neighbouring stone, about 2 feet high, is fabled to mark the grave of Fingal, which by some is supposed to have given the parish its name (Gael. cill-Fhinn, 'Fingal's burial-place'). Killin has a post office under Stirling, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, branches of the Bank of Scotland and the Union Bank, 2 hotels, a public library, a water supply (1874), 'bus communication with the station, steamboat and coach communication with Kenmore and Aberfeldy, a sawmill, a tweed manufactory, and fairs on the first Tuesday after 11 Jan., 5 May (or the Tuesday after, if that day fall on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday), 12 Oct., the Friday before Doune Nov. market, and the first Tuesday after 11 Nov. The parish church, built in 1744, contains 905 sittings, other places of worship being a Free church and an iron Episcopal church, St Peter's (1876). Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy breakfasted at Killin on 5 Sept. 1804; and on 10 Sept. 1842 the Queen and Prince Albert were rowed from Taymouth Castle to Achmore, thence driving through Killin, Glenogle, and Upper Strathearn to Drummond Castle. At Killin, too, died the antiquary, Cosmo Innes (1798-1874). Pop. (1871) 513, (1881) 473.

The parish, containing also the stations of Luib, Crianlarich, and Tyndrum, 5¾, 12, and 17¼ miles W of Killin station, comprises a main body and two detached sections. The area of the whole is 1532/3 square miles or 98,350½ acres, of which 1424 are water, and 8315 belong to the detached sections, so that, with the exception of Fortingall and Blair Athole, it is the largest of all the large Perthshire parishes. The main body is bounded W by Kilmorich and Glenorchy in Argyllshire, N and E by detached portions of Kenmore and Weem, SE by Comrie, S by Balquhidder, and SW by Arrochar in Dumbartonshire. Its utmost length, from E by N to W by S, is 227/8 miles; its width varies between 21/8 and 11 miles; and its area is 90, 0345/6 acres. The Fillan, rising at an altitude of 2980 feet, on the northern side of Benloy, close to the Argyllshire border, winds 11¼ miles east-north-eastward and east-south-eastward along a glen called after it Strathfillan, till it falls into the head of Loch Dochart (6 x 1¼ furl.; 512 feet); and the Dochart, issuing thence, flows 13¼ miles east-north-eastward to the head of Loch Tay (290 feet), in the first ½ mile of its course expanding into Loch Tubhair (1¼ mile x 2½ furl.), and ½ mile above its mouth being joined by the Lochy, which over the last 4 miles of its meanderings either bounds or traverses Killin parish. Partly, however, the drainage belongs to the basin of the Clyde, since the Falloch, rising on Ben-a-Chroin, close to the Balquhidder boundary, runs 81/8 miles north-by-westward, south-westward, and southward, till at Inverarnan it passes off into Dumbartonshire on its way to Loch Lomond. Of nineteen smaller lakes, scattered over the interior, the largest are Lochan Lairig Eala (31/3 x 1¼. furl.; 950 feet) near Killin station, and Loch Essan (32/3 x 11/3 furl.; 1730 feet), 2½ miles NNE of Crianlarich station. The surface everywhere is grandly mountainous, chief elevations, from E to W, to the left or N of the Dochart and the Fillan being *Craigchailliach (2990 feet), *Mid Kill (1977), *Ben Dheiceach (3074), Creag Liuragan (1817), *Ben Chaluim (3354), *Ben OdHar (2948), and *Benloy (3708); to the right or S, Ben Leathan (2312), Creag Ghlas (1946), conical Benmore (3843), *Am Binnein (3827), Grey Height (2139), *Ben-a-Chroin (3101), Troisgeach (2395), and Ben Dubh-chraige (3204), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. Of the two detached sections, the eastern and larger, extending 3 miles along the SE shore of Loch Tay, and from 1¾ to 33/8 miles inland, contains the village of Ardeonaig, 71/8 miles ENE of Killin village. It is drained by nine rivulets to Loch Tay, from whose shore the surface rises south-eastward to *Meall na Creige (2683 feet), *Creag Uigeach (2840), and *Ruadh Bheul (2237). The smaller Botaurnie section, 13/8 mile square, lies on the left bank of the Lochy, 7 miles WNW of Killin village, rises northward from 590 feet to 2580 at *Meall Taurnie, and is bounded N by Fortingall, on all other sides by fragments of Kenmore and Weem.

Such is a bare outline of the general features of this great Highland parish, whose beauties, antiquities, and history are noticed more fully under Dalrigh, Dochart, Fillan, Finlarig, Glenfalloch, Glenlochy, and other articles above referred to. Mica slate is the predominant rock, though this parish also abounds in talcose, chloritic, and hornblende rocks, and in greyish highly crystalline limestone. Lead ore has been worked at Clifton, near Tyndrum; cobalt is found in an ore, which yields also 60 oz. of silver per ton; a rich vein of sulphurate of iron occurs in Craigchailliach; and specimens of rock crystal, amethystine quartz, smoke quartz, and some other rare minerals are found. The soil of the tracts incumbent upon limestone is generally light and dry, but in the bottoms of Glenlochy, Glendochart, and Strathfillan is wet and marshy. Less than one thirty-fifth of the entire area is in tillage; 1100 acres are under wood, and all the rest of the land is either pastoral or waste. Mansions are Auchlyse House, Lochdochart Lodge, and Glenfalloch House; and the Earl of Breadalbane is much the largest proprietor, 2 others holding an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of between £100 and £500, and 4 of from £20 to £50. Killin is in the presbytery of Weem and synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £365. There are Free churches of Ardeonaig and Strathfillan; and five public schools-Ardeonaig, Crianlarich, Glendochart, Killin, and Strathfillan-with respective accommodation for 56, 52, 43, 127, and 50 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 22, 14, 18, 75, and 21, and grants of £40, 2s., £26, 13s., £31, 1s., £68, 16s., and £37, 6s. 6d. Valuation (1866) £11, 502, (1883) £12, 215, 15s. 5d. Pop. (1801) 2048, (1831) 2002, (1861) 1520, (1871) 1856, many of them navvies; (1881) 1277, of whom 1003 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur., shs. 46, 47, 1872-69.

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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