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Statistical Accounts of Scotland

Argyllshire
Old and New Statistical Accounts


Ardchattan and MuckairnArdnamurchanCampbeltownCraignishDunoon and KilmunGigha and CaraGlassaryGlenorchay and InishailInveraryInverchaolainJura with Colonsay and OronsayKilbrandon and KilchattanKilcalmonell and KilberyKilchaomanKilchrenan and DalavichKildaltonKilfinanKilfinichen and KilviceuenKillarow and KilmenyKillean and KilchenzieKilmadanKilmartinKilmore and KilbrideKilninian and KilmoreKilninver and KimelfordKnapdale NorthKnapdale SouthLismore and AppinLochgoilhead and KilmorichMorvernSaddell and SkipnessSouthendStrachur and StralachlanTiree and CollTorosay

Ardchattan and Muckairn (OSA)
Glassary
Kilcalmonell and Kilberry
Killarow and Kilmeny (Islay)
Kilninver and Kilmelford
Muckairn (NSA)
Ardnamurchan
Glenurchy and Inishail Kilchaoman (Islay) Killean and Kilchenzie Knapdale, North Saddell and Skipness
Campbeltown
Inverary Kilchrenan and Dalavich Kilmadan Knapdale, South Southend
Craignish
Inverchaolain Kildalton (Islay) Kilmartin Lismore and Appin Strachur and Stralachlan
Dunoon and Kilmun
Jura (with Colonsay & Oronsay) Kilfinan Kilmore and Kilbride Lochgoilhead and Kilmorich Tiree and Coll
Gigha and Cara Kilbrandon and Kilchattan Kilfinichen and Kilviceuen (Mull) Kilninian and Kilmore (Mull) Morvern Torosay (Mull)

 

The text below is mostly summaries with some extracts from the original text. The links are mostly to Google Books with some to the EDINA site. These are usually to the first item of interest rather than the first page of a parish. The NSA for Argyllshire is volume 7. Some notes from volume 2 of MacFarlane's Geographical Collections have been added - these are useful as they date from the 1720's. See here for further information and links.

Additional information about parishes can be found on the Vision of Britain site and on Scotland's Places.

Some old photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company's Views of Landscape and Architecture in Scotland are included - see thumbnails on Library of Congress site here.

The map of Kilninver parish is based on the quarter-inch OS map The Southern Islands, 1923 and the other parish maps and of the military roads are based on the map by J.Arrowsmith, 1844, courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The image is copyright Cartography Associates but has been made available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial use.

Overview Other Sources MacFarlane's Geographical Collections Parish Accounts


Overview
There are some references to the Romans which have not been upheld by modern research. One is for a presence on Lismore, another for a watch tower above Dunoon. The latter is interesting as there is an old road (Canmore record) near Ardlamont Point traditionally thought to be Roman and perhaps running from the shore to a signalling point. Another reference is to a "Roman" bridge south of Inverary; however, while early, it is not Roman. A mistake by antiquaries of the time placed a Roman town near Benderloch, called Beregonium. There may in fact have been a settlement here which was said to have two named streets. There were causeways on Iona, including the Street of the Dead.

Other unusual references are to the "Druid's Bridge" on Loch Awe, which is a line of stones running into the loch, and what is supposed to have been the start of a bridge between Morvern and Mull. Coffin roads are not mentioned explicitly but on Jura there were a couple of caves used as corpachs where bodies being taken to Iona could be kept if the weather was bad.

There were a few small monastic settlements in Argyle in the middle ages and it would be interesting, given their record elsewhere if they made any lengths of road, although none are mentioned or have come to light. A charter of 1324 refers to a road being built between the two Tarberts. The name itself, of which there are a couple of instances, indicates a place where boats were dragged across land to save a long sea journey.

Made roads aside, it is clear enough that there were very early communication routes in Argyleshire and that some of the ferries existed from an early date. The paths themselves were very rough, and it is interesting to read of the Pass of Brander with its Ladder Rock. As elsewhere in the west of Scotland, much of the travel was by sea.

References to made roads and bridges start appearing from the 1700's with some roads being privately funded and others made by the statute labour. This, however, varied between parishes so that there could be reasonable roads in one place and very poor roads in another. It is interesting to see that Kintyre was completely cut off from the rest of the county until the mid 1700's and that Kilfinichen on the west side of Mull could only be reached by going through a pass up Glenmore. Although a few good bridges were made, bridges were generally fairly rudimentary, perhaps just a tree trunk or a plank. From the complaints about the impossibility of passing over swollen streams, it is clear that travel was very difficult without bridges.

Map of military roads in Argyllshire
Military Roads in Argyleshire. A number of the roads were made in conjunction with the county - see W. Taylor, The Military Roads in Scotland for details.

The military roads were a major advance and opened up much of Argyleshire. A road ran up Loch Lomond side to Arrochar and Inverary, where the Duke of Argyle had his seat. It was later extended up to Dalmally and Bonawe. Another ran from Stirling through Callendar to Crianlarich and Tyndrum from where it continued up to Fort William by Glencoe and by a shorter route using the Devil's Staircase. From Tyndrum there was a branch to the other road at Bonawe. The line of road up the side of Loch Lomond was later extended from Tarbert to Crianlarich where the Fort William road was joined.

The next major advance was work undertaken by the Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges in the early 1800's who remade existing roads and extended the network. Their roads included roads on Islay and Jura, the Moydart Road that ran through Ardnamurchan, roads south of Strachur and one to Lochgoilhead, a road through Glendaruel and a couple of roads in Arran. There were also improvements to most of the military roads. By the time of the NSA coaches were running on some roads, as well as carriers though in coastal areas steamship services were often more convenient.

There are frequent complaints about the difficulties caused by using peat as a fuel. In several places they were becoming scarce and were often to be found at remote locations along very bad roads which hurt the horses. They took the best part of the summer months to gather, time that would have been better spent on activities that could improve their lands. Bad weather could lead to the peats being ruined. Although coal was available from the mainland, and a poor quality coal from Campbeltown, many could not afford it partly because of freight charges and partly because of a tax on coal.

There were many ferries, those involving sea crossings being very dangerous, though this situation improved somewhat as steamships started making regular journeys from the Clyde and elsewhere. The Crinan Canal had a major effect on local economies, making it easier to send produce to markets and bring in various goods. Droving was common but it was soon found easier to take the animals by steamship than long overland journeys. Ferries often had inns associated with them, offering a place where travellers could wait or sleep until it was safe to make a crossing.


Other sources

Agricultural Report - Argyle, John Smith, 1813; see also 1798
Canmore search for Roads in Argyleshire
The following are various interesting articles from the Kintyre West Road website:
The Campbeltown - Tarbert Mail Coach; The Royal Mail; Kintyre’s Roads; Kintyre's Buses:Their History and Some Photographs; The West Loch Ferries; The Gigha Ferries; The Tarbert Canal
W. Taylor, The Military Roads in Scotland, House of Lochar, 1996
Roads in 1859 - link to website section
Various resources - link to website section
Heritage Paths - details of various historic routes in Argyleshire
Lost Argyll: Argyll's Lost Heritage, Marian Pallister, Birlinn, 2005 - many useful references to roads, ferries etc.

Google Maps & Street View - view larger map and drag yellow figure onto a highlighted road to see roadside view

View Larger Map




MacFarlane: Geographical Collections

Ane Description of Certain Pairts of the Highlands of Scotland (Volume 2)

Map for MacFarlane's Geographical CollectionsPage 145 Mention of ferries at Kilmaglash (Strachur) on Loch Fyne and Port-Chregan on north side of Loch Fyne.
Page 147 There is a ferry on Loch Awe at Portsoinghan. The way there from Inverary is very dangerous in “time of evil stormie weather and in winter”
Page 150 There is a ferry between Dunstaffnage and Gonnell in Lorne (presumably North Connell) which is a very difficult passage.
Page 154 Ferry of Sion (Shian Ferry) between Beandirloch and the Appin.
Page 155 Ferry of Lismore.
Page 170 Glengarry “In the water or river of Airgaik there was seen in the zeare 1620 yeirs the fourteenth of August, the tennants and gentle-men of the Countrey being at the building of a bridge of timber on the said river, at the latter end of the making of the bridge, there appeared Innumerable Adders in this water of Airgaick Immediatlie efter the finitione of the said bridge. The gentlemen and tennants perceiving the Adders and all the water in such a pairt a litle above the bridge full of cruell and terrible beasts and certaine of the biggest of the adders did lope high above the water, and certaine others of them comeing to the land, did goe through the hadder and grass so fast that the whole Companie which did
behold, were much affraied at this terrible and Marvelous sight. And at last they were forced to leave their work and depart from that place, which they did say, if there had bein such sight at the beginning of the work, they had never did it.” - see also page 524 below.
This may have been Loch Arkaig - see map by Robert Gordon and 1st edition of the 1" map, sheet 62


(Note: Map based on a map of Scotland produced by Eric Gaba and made available on Wikimedia under a Creative Commons licence and Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License. With thanks. See original on Wikimedia.)

Cowell (some of these items are repeats of previous entries above)
Page 511 Ferries mentioned: ferry of Lochfyne at Kilmaglais which is 15 miles from Dunoon and Port Chregan on the north side of Loch Fyne, three miles from Inverary. There is also a ferry on Loch Awe.

Page 515 Ferry of Gonnaill in Lorne.
Page 516 Ferry of the Sian between Benderloch and the Appin.
Ferry to Lismore from Appin.

Page 524 “Anno 1620 in the beginning of August, the people of the countrey were building a bridge upon the river Airkaig, at the end of the work they report they saw an infinit number of adders swymming upon the water, a litle above the bridge, leaping theron, wherof many landing creeped away throch the grass and hather, to the great terrour of the beholders, “



Ardchattan
OSA
Vol. 6, page 174 (also Muckairn)
Page 180 Roads, Services, and Fuel. The public roads are much improved in recent years but the bye roads especially those leading to the glens “are rugged, slippery, and dangerous, lying in some parts along the brink of precipices, and so narrow that two men can hardly pass each other.

The statute labour is converted into money. Mostly peat is used but much of the summer is wasted in obtaining them. There is no prospect of improvement in the Highlands unless the coal tax is removed.

Footnote: Page 180 “In this district stood the famous city of Beregonium: it was situated between two hills, one called Dun Macsnichan, " the hill of Snachan's son," and the other, much superior in height, is named Dun bhail an righ, "the hill of the "king's town." A street paved with common stones, running from the foot of the one hill to the other, is still called Straid-mharagaid, "the market street;" and another place, at a little distance, goes by the name of Straid namin; "the meal street."“ (Sited at Benderloch, about two and a half miles north of Connel Ferry. See Canmore entry, Site Number NM93NW 31, 6" map, Argyleshire LXXXVII)
Page 182 Miscellaneous Observations. Connel ferry. Although this ferry appears very dangerous no accident has happened in living memory.

Map of Ardchattan

NSA, 468
Page 469 The island of Elanduirnish, in Loch-etive, opposite to Bunawe, is inhabited only by the ferryman, supports no more than a couple of cows and a few sheep, and is connected with the mainland by a stone bulwark, along which is conducted the public road, which, beyond the ferry, diverges to Inveraray and Glenorchy.
Mention of ferries at Connell, Shian and Elan-duirnich.
Mention of King’s House about 7 miles from Buchail-mor.
Mention of the mountain pass of Larig-aoilt, which leads to Glencoe.
Page 475 Connell ferry appears to be very dangerous but the boatmen, with their skill and knowledge manage the crossing safely.
Page 480 Mention of road between Glenorchy and Bunawe.
Page 494 Mention of high road connecting the ferries of Connell and Shean. Connections with Ossian.
Page 495 Details of Priory of Ardchattan.
Page 505 Parochial Economy.
The nearest market town is Oban, 8 miles away by the Connell ferry. Post office at Bonawe outwith the parish; however, the Fort William post runs through part of the parish.
Although there are no turnpike roads anywhere in Argyleshire, the county roads and the bridge are in good order.
Page 508 Inns.—Of the five inns, four are at ferries.
Fuel—Peat, brushwood and some coal by those who can afford it.
Miscellaneous Observations.
Roads are required on both sides of Loch-etive, and to be carried on from the head of that arm of the sea to King's House, to unite there with the great road from Fort William to Stirling and Edinburgh. Another line is much wanted along the south side of Loch-creran, already formed partially as far as Crigan ferry, that road to be connected also with the great Edinburgh line.


Ardnamurchan
OSA
Vol. 20, page 286
Page 296 The annual road money for Ardnamurchan is L9.2s. and L4.7s for Sunart. There is a post office in Strontian.

NSA, 117
Steamers between Glasgow and Skye and the Long Island call at the Point of Arasaig.
Page 152 A few years ago the British Herring Fishery Society built two piers on the “north and south sides of a neck separating Loch Sunart and the bay of Kintra” with a connecting road through the moss of Kintra. It was hoped that as it avoided Ardnamurchan, people would use it for journeys between north and south.

Page 155 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town
.—The nearest is Tobermory, in Mull, 5 miles south of the harbour of Kilchoan in Ardnamurchan.
Post-Offices.— Strontian with a daily post, Arisaig with a thrice weekly service; and Kilchoan served by runner from Strontian twice a week.

Map of ArdnamurchanMeans of Communication.— There are about 60 miles of road although more are needed to cover the area. One road runs from “Arasaig by Glenfinnan on the north, to Fort-William and the Caledonian Canal; and that from Strontian on the east, to Corran Ferry. By these, cattle and sheep are driven to the southern markets.

The main mode of transport is steamship. Glasgow steamers land at Tobermory and at the point of Arisaig with the necessary items for the parish and return with some animals and many eggs.

Harbours.—He gives details of anchorages and harbours. That at Kilchoan is used to reach Tobermory and sometimes boats from the islands land cattle there. As said, there is a small harbour on the north coast; and there are landing places in Loch na Keaull in Arisaig and in Loch Sunart. Glasgow steamers have been calling at these places.
Page 162 Fairs.—Fairs for the sale of cattle and sheep are held at Strontian and Arisaig. People from Morven and Kilmalie attend the Strontian fair.
Inns.—Good inns at Strontian, Arasaig, and Glenfinnan, and four lesser establishments elsewhere.


Campbelltown
OSA
Vol. 10, page 517
Page 550 Produce is sent from here to the Clyde by regular packet-boat services.
Minerals, Fuel, Etc.—There is coal three miles away from which a canal runs to the town. Turf and peat is used in the country and by the poorer people in the town.
Page 559 There is a post office. Contrary to former practice this office no longer delivers letters in the town or on the route taken by the runners; now one has to continually enquire at the post office if there is any mail otherwise letters may be returned as dead.
Page 566 The tax on coal carried coastwise causes much hardship and should be abolished if improvements are to be hoped for. Too much time is spent obtaining peat which would be better spent on improving the land. Where it has been worked out, great hardship is caused if coal cannot be afforded. In a footnote he says that the tax has now been abolished.


NSA, 453
Page 457 A canal has been cut to coal works three miles from Campbeltown.
Page 463 Details of the trade carried on through the port - Glasgow easily reached by steamer.
Page 465 Turnpike Roads.—None. The roads and bridges are good and mostly statute labour.
Fairs.— Four annual fairs.
Inns, Etc.—There are 76 public-houses and two excellent inns in the town.
Fuel.— As well as peat, coal obtained locally and from Glasgow and Ayrshire is used.
1843


Craignish
OSA
Vol.7, page 436
Page 441 “Carts have been lately introduced; and more would be used, were the roads made passable for such carriages. But these are quite neglected. The statute labour is not employed on them; and it is probable the commutation for it will not for some time produce any material alteration.
One inn.
Page 446 Advantages and Disadvantages. Peat is scarce and of poor quality. Coal is expensive both because of the coal tax and the cost of transport round “the point Kintyre.” This would improve if the coal tax was abolished and a canal built at Crinan.
He lists the other advantages that would result from such a canal. He remarks on the danger to those in open Birlins rounding the Mull of Kintyre which leads to them unloading their cargoes in West Loch Tarbert and dragging these and their boats across to the eastern shore to make their way to the Clyde.


NSA, 45
Page 57 Navigation.—Sheep and cattle from Jura with some from Islay and Colonsay are carried to the mainland for the markets of Dumbarton, Doune, and Falkirk
Occasional visits from vessels from Glasgow and Greenock that land coal and ship potatoes. A few boats also come from Ireland for seed potatoes.
Parochial Economy. Although there is no market town there are frequent markets held at various places, particularly at Lochgilphead.

Means of Communication.
The road between Lochgilphead and Oban passes for two miles through the parish. From this the parish road branches off to the south-west, and proceeds, for the most part, along the eastern shore to the harbour of Little Loch Craignish. Bridges have been erected where necessary.
The Crinan Canal affords the means of easy and frequent communication with the low country. Steam-boats plying through it between Glasgow and Inverness pass the southern extremity of the parish every alternate day, and often land goods and passengers.
Page 59 Inns.—Three.
Fuel.—Mostly peat but coal is brought from Glasgow in the summer.

Miscellaneous Observations. The roads are much improved and the Crinan Canal has resulted in distinct economic advantages when disposing of agricultural produce and obtaining commodities from the low country.
Revised 1843


Dunoon and Kilmun
OSA
Vol. 2, page 383
Page 385 “In former times, the ferry at Dunoon was the principal inlet from the low country to Argyleshire.
There is now “a great road being carried by Lochlomond, round the head of Lochlong, and through Glencroe to Inverary".
Page 389 Fuel.—Mostly peat but some coal for those who can afford it or those living by the shore who find it more convenient and not subject to the problems affecting peat when the weather is bad.


NSA, 567
One of the proprietors is required to maintain a ferry over the Clyde as part of a feudal tenure.
Page 570 He makes the point that a valley has an entrance and exit and a glen has an entrance but no exit at the other end, or at least a barrier which makes exit difficult.
In describing the geography of the area he notes that the valley of the Eachaig, past Loch Eck to Strachur is only 18 feet above the sea and affords an easy communication between Inveraray, the county town, and the south of Scotland, and quite practicable for a railway

Dunoon, c.1900. Detroit Publishing CompanyPage 577 Hydrography.—There is a ferry over to near the Cloch lighthouse, a journey of about 3 miles. The ferry is not so busy since steam ships started sailing.

Page 596 He describes remains on the farm of Ardinslat that may be Roman and surmises that it may have been a signal tower erected when the Antonine wall was building to warn of any danger approaching from the sea.

He also refers to the tradition that Agricola had his fleet sail up Loch Fine, and that traces of them having landed at Otter have been found.
(Note: One Canmore record (NS17NE 2, NS1796 7868 -Castle Crawford) for the remains is somewhat ambiguous about their date but does not assess them as Roman; another (NS17NE 25) says they are definitely not Roman. For an intriguing account of supposed Roman advances in Argyleshire, see Hector Boece’s History, book IV, section 37-39. This very conveniently fills a gap in our knowledge of Roman movements but it is far from clear if it is historically accurate.)

Page 608 Before steam navigation journeys from here and neighbouring areas could be very difficult and sometimes dangerous. He gives two instances of this. One was that 24 years before, the minister of Rothesay took three days to sail to Greenock; the other from 32 years before was of a journey down the Clyde from Glasgow to Gourock. The first day was spent in reaching Bowling, the second being unable to make headway against the wind and having to spend another night at Bowling. On the third day the boat reached Port Glasgow where he disembarked in disgust and continued the journey by post-horse. He returned to Glasgow by land. The cost of the journey was L.7. 14s. Rothesay to Greenock now takes 2 hours and Glasgow to Gourock in just over 2 hours and costs only one shilling for each journey. It takes 3 hours between Dunoon and Glasgow by boat and if the railway is used two hours, and a further two hours to Edinburgh.

Page 618 Navigation.—Two very convenient piers have now been built at Dunoon and at Kilmun.

Parochial Economy.
There is no proper market town but Dunoon and Kilmun serve as such.
There are post offices at Dunoon, Kilmun, and Ardentinny, with daily services

There are 49 miles of road in the parish. None of the roads in Argyleshire are turnpike. The lines of road here are:

Loch Eck, looking south• A road along the coast (presumably from parish boundary at the Ardyne Burn near Castle Toward) to the boundary of the Glenfinart estate. The part from Strone Point up to Glenfinart estate was made by subscription last year. (Note: This whole line of road is shown on Langlands map of 1801 (SW sheet) so this section may refer to an improvement of an existing road).

• A road from the south of Loch Eck up to Whistlefield, made a few years ago by subscription. It gives access to Strachur, Inverary, and western Argyleshire.

Map of Dunoon and Kilmun parishes• A road from Kilmun to Loch Eck. It is thought that the first steam carriage to run on a public road in Scotland, ran on this road. It, along with a plan for a steamer on Loch Eck was abandoned.

There are now much-needed wooden bridges on the Eachaig, the Little Eachaig, and the Massan. The roads are generally good: they are statute labour which is commuted although it is felt that too much of the burden rests with the poorer people. An Act currently before Parliament will remedy this.

The Holy Loch is the only harbour or good anchorage along the coast of the parish.”

Good as the roads and bridges are we are even better served by frequent and fast steamer services from Glasgow and Greenock and Rothesay and the western parts of Argyleshire.
Page 628 Inns, Etc.—Two in Dunoon, one in Kilmun, and one in Ardentinny, and 18 other places where drink can be obtained.
Fuel.—Mostly coal from Glasgow along with some from Ayrshire. Peat is still used in the upland areas, although they prefer coal.
Miscellaneous Observations. He refers to the major benefits of steam navigation.


Gigha and Cara
OSA
Vol.8, page 37
Page 43 Roads and Ferry.— “From the harbour of Gigulum sound, there is an excellent line of carriage road, finished half-way to the north end of the island, which will soon be completed the whole length, to the great convenience of the inhabitants, who are now beginning to use carts, of which there are already six in the island. The statute labour for making roads is converted into money at the rate of 1s. 6d., or 2s. for each person annually. Besides this fund, there is a shilling in the pound, valued rent, payable over the whole county, by an act of Parliament passed in 1774; but the money thus raised, goes to the great lines of road (particularly specified in that act) on the main land; and as these are still incomplete, nothing of the money exigible by the act of Parliament, can be applied to other places and consequently the road in Gigha has been carried on at the expense of the principal proprietor.

A ferry runs between Gigha and the mainland. Difficulties are caused however by there being no quay on the exposed Kintyre side which means the boat has to be drawn up on the shore in bad weather, and there being no place where passengers can wait.
Page 56 At a narrow part of the island there is a place called Tarbet that may indicate ships were dragged overland here.
Page 69 Proposed Improvements. Benefits would result from reviewing the tax on coal and salt; building towns; and making canals at Crinan and between Inverness and Fort William.

NSA, 394
Page 396 Vessels call in at the Bay of Ardminish, with coal and lime etc and take away produce.
Page 400 Antiquities.— There is a signal post on a hill at the north of the island used to advise the Islay steamer of any passengers. Its name, meaning "watch cairn" indicates that it was long used to give warning of invasion.
Page 404 Mention of a new road to the mill, that cost L.250.
Page 405 We export potatoes, bear, oats, cattle, horses, pigs and sheep and dairy produce.
Parochial Economy.
Market- Town. — “Campbelton is the nearest market-town. The produce of the island, however, is carried by water to Islay, Ireland, and the Clyde; but the price of agricultural produce is much the same here as at Campbelton.
Means of Communication.—A steamer between West Loch Tarbert and Islay, passes the north end of Gigha, where a boat takes off passengers.
There is a ferry to the mainland from each of the properties. The fare of the boat is 2s., or 6d. each, if there should happen to be more than four passengers.”
There is a receiving house at Tayinloan which is 18 miles from the post-office in Tabert. Besides Tarbert the mail is also taken to Campbelton. There is also a weekly carrier to Campbelton.
Gigha has 5 miles of carriage road and two miles of cross-road from this to the corn-mill. It is hoped to take the road to the north end of the island. Quays are needed at both ends and at Tayinloan.

Page 407 Inns.— One
Fuel.— Mainly turf but as it is scarce, coal from Ayrshire and a poorer coal from Campbelton is becoming more common.
Miscellaneous Observations. Building good roads, dikes and one or two quays would encourage industry.


Glassary
OSA
Vol.13, page 653
Page 657 A number of individuals here are employed in making roads, fences, ditches etc for part of the year.
Page 662 There are 3 forts that appear to have been watch-towers from which signals of invaders could be made.


Map of Glassary parishPage 663 Roads and Bridges.—As the roads here and most other places in the county had been badly made and maintained by the statute labour, the heritors of the county obtained an act about 20 years ago for new roads to be made in the county and setting an assessment. This project was entered into with great enthusiasm by many heritors many of whom advanced 15 years assessment. This happened in this parish with some advancing additional funds so that in a few years 12 miles of road, 24 feet wide were made as part of the road from Inverary to Campbelltown, and 6 miles from Lochgilphead as part of the road leading up towards the Lorn district.
Although there is presently a shortage of funds for repairs, due to such rapid progress, it is expected that this situation will improve and allow the high roads to be maintained and the by roads finished.
Most of the bridges were built in the same way, the heritors advancing the money to the contractors, until the funds would allow them to be repaid. In the meantime, they have been compensated by the use of the roads and seeing how useful they were to the district.

Advantages and Disadvantages.— The roads have been a great help to the parish.
Peats are used but in some places are very scarce or exhausted. Now that the duty on coal is removed, it would be a further help if that on salt was also removed. We would hope to benefit from the canal proposed at Crinan.


NSA, 675
Page 685 There are several ruined chapels in the parish including the one at Kilneuair on Lochaweside (just over 1 mile east of Ford). There is a tradition that the stones were dressed at a quarry near Killevin on Lochfineside, 12 miles from the chapel, and that the people then formed a line along which all the stones were passed from hand to hand until the chapel was complete. There was once a village here where a market called A'margadh Dhu was held. “Now the ruins stand alone by the side of a road which few travellers frequent.
Note: The chapel at Killnevin (NR 986 972) is thought to have been the original parish church for Kilmichael Glassary and which was moved to Kilneuair; the tradition suggests the stones were reused - see Canmore record. There is no indication of the route that might have been taken.

692 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.—Lochgilphead is the main market-town and has excellent communications by steam-boats which call in at Ardrisaig, 2 miles away, and which serves as its port. Glasgow is easily reached as are Mull and Inverness by the Crinan Canal, and Inverary. Cattle and sheep can easily be taken to market.
There is a regular postal service to Inverary, Glasgow, Campbelton, and Kilmartin.

Although there are no turnpikes the roads, of which there are 21 miles, are very good. They are funded by assessment in the county. There is however a need for more in the northern part of the parish.
There are also some very poor public roads: one is through the valley of Glassary, another runs from the ford to Inverary, and another from Bravealaich to Inverary. A road along the side of Loch Awe from Eritinn to Fionchairn, a distance of 8 miles was made last year at a cost of L1500 and was “offered gratuitously to the road-trustees by the proprietor of the lands in that district.”

"The bridges are not remarkable, but they are in good order, and that over the Ad, having four arches, is the largest. Notwithstanding that it has been enlarged and repaired at different times, it is still very narrow, steep, inconvenient, and almost dangerous. A new bridge lower down would require a mile of new road; but would shorten the distance to Kilmartin considerably, and ought to be built. One of the swing bridges over the Crinan Canal, that at Carn-ban, is in this parish; but none of them is quite trustworthy, and when vessels are passing there is a long detention.

There is a small pier built by the road trustees at North Ottar Ferry, and I have a small pier for my own use below the house, with a causeway or ' hard,' 300 yards long down to the lowest low water mark. I have also rather a larger pier at the village for the accommodation of herring wherries, coal smacks, &c. from whom I take a small toll.”
Note: The above two paragraphs are from a communication from Sir John Orde, Bart.

Page 698 Fairs.—Four fairs at Kilmichael and Lochgilphead.
Inns and Alehouses.—Thirty, with 23 in Lochgilphead.
Page 700 "If Lochgilp was dredged, vessels could reach the village.“


Glenurchy and Inishail

 

 


Bridge of Orchy. This used to carry the main road north but it terminates at Forrest Lodge. Beyond that point it is used as the West Highland Way. A military road also passes through here.

OSA Vol.8, page 335
Page 340 Mention of hawkers selling goods, as well as a shop.
Page 344 Roads and Bridges—
"In no county has more been done, during the last 20 years, in constructing bridges, and forming useful lines of road, than in the shire of Argyll within that period, besides what has been effected by the statute labour, and by a yearly assessment of above 600 L Sterling on the valued rents, many expensive bridges and various lines of roads, have been completed by large subscriptions.

Looking towards Dalmally in Glenorchy parish, c.1900. Detroit Publishing Company.Glenorchay is every where well accomodated with good roads and convenient bridges. The great military road from Stirling to Tayndrom and Inverary, passes through the parish, from one extremity almost to the other: as does also, for many miles, the military road, from Tayndrom to Fort-William. In the original formation of these roads, the obvious and proper line has not always been selected. The traveller often feels, to his cost, that the road was brought to the gravel, and not the gravel to the road. A more enlightened and liberal system of road-making is now adopted; and, it is hoped, that the line will be altered from its present incommodious acclivities and descents, wherever a more easy and level road can be formed.

Map of Glenorchy parishFrom the inn of Dalmaly, to the bridge of Aw, a very judicious alteration in the line of public road has been lately made, at the expense of above 400 L. Sterling. This beautiful line winds, for miles, through woods and dells, presenting such varied and agreeable views of water, of islands, of towering mountains, and sloping hills, as give an uncommon grandeur and sublimity to the landscape. Part of the road lies through a narrow defile, amidst such irregularities of nature, such deep chasms, and such impending rocks, as indicate some vast convulsions of the earth, to have happened at some remote period of time."


Dalmally, now bypassed by the main roadPage 350 Inn.—In referring to the excellent inn at Dalmally he praises the efforts of Lord Breadalbane who had done so much for the convenience of travellers on the road between Perth and Inverary by building a number of good inns on his lands.

Page 351 Well of St. Connan.—Some 20 years ago an old man who lived near the well of St Connan which is close to the inn at Dalmally used to give “passengers a drink from his favourite spring, for which he received some small consideration.”

Page 357 Fuel.—The main fuel here is peat. If these are damaged by wet weather the consequences can be severe. “A few years ago, many poor people in the West Highlands were obliged to burn most of their household furniture, to repel the cold and to prepare their food. Old people and young children, unable to bear the cold, were mostly confined to bed.


NSA, 82
Ruins of a Cistercian nunnery at Inishail (see also page 97).
Page 88 In a poetic description of the pass of Brander he says that “until the present line of road was executed, it was impassable to any except the sure-footed and steady-headed mountaineer.” He says that at one point (the ladder rock) a rock had to be climbed by a ladder (note: it is more likely that the name comes from the Gaelic leiter and refers to a slope). The road gives access to the sea at Bunawe from where produce can be taken to the markets in the south.
Page 92 About a century before, much timber felling was carried out. The timber was floated down the Urchay when high enough to Loch Awe where it was made into planks then floated in rafts to the pass of Brander then carted to Bunawe on the coast.
There is a huge oak trunk that was used to bridge the river below Achallader until the river changed its course.

NN0822 : Bay at Drochaid nan Druidh Loch Awe by John Ferguson
Bay at Drochaid nan Druidh Loch Awe © Copyright John Ferguson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Page 98 “Tradition alleges, that a bold attempt was once made to throw a bridge across Lochawe, a little to the north of Cladich. On the south side of the lake, on the farm of Barandryan, huge blocks of stone may, on a clear and calm day, be traced into the lake to a considerable distance, placed, it is said, at regular distances. These stones and cairns, the foundation on which the intended bridge was to have rested, constitute the sole remains and monument of this formidable undertaking. These remains are called the Druid's bridge.” (Drochaid nan Druidh, see 6" map, Argyleshire CXIII, NW quadrant)
Page 100 Since the last account the inn at Dalmally has been enlarged and new inns built at Cladich and the south side of Portsonachan ferry. The roads are well maintained and conveyances and post-horses are available at the inns.
Page 103 Fairs.—Two.
Inns.— "There are inns, and two small dram-houses in the parish."
Fuel.— Turf and peat.
1843.

Inverary
OSA
Vol.5, page 287

 



Inverary, c.1900. Detroit Publishing Company.Page 289 Only the affluent can use lime as a manure because of the cost of coal, and other fuel to burn the limestone being scarce. The coal tax is a great impediment to any progress.
Page 291 “The harbour of Inverary was anciently called Slochk Ichopper, which means the Gullet where vessels bought or bartered for fish… It appears, that anciently the French merchants used to come and barter their wines for herrings, as there is a point of land, about 3 miles south of Inveraray, still called the Frenchman's point; and the tradition of the country is, that it was to that particular spot the herrings were in use to be brought, in order to be cured and sold.
In a list of occupations there are listed 1 innkeeper, 2 ferrymen, 3 carters, 4 messengers.
Page 294 Details of the town of Inverary.
Page 303 Mention of the bridge of Douglas.
Page 304 Before the 1745 the mail was brought by a weekly runner from Dumbarton but the service did not pay. Now there are 6 deliveries a week and 10 post offices in the county, an indication of its progress.
Inverary has one main inn and several lesser public houses.

Map of Inverary parish
NSA, 1
Page 6 The father of the present Duke of Argyll made a carriage road to some waterfalls in Glenshira.
Page 7 There are 2 wooden and 3 stone bridges over the Aray.
Page 13 Mention of the Foal's Bridge, or Drochaig an tshearraich, near to an avenue that led to the Duke’s offices.
Page 26 There is a very old bridge over the Douglass on the road to the house of Claonary, 3½ miles west of Inverary. It is called the Roman Bridge.
Page 35 Inverary has a weekly market and three annual fairs which at one time were the only fairs allowed in the county.

Means of Communication.—Glasgow can now be reached in 7 hours instead of the two days it used to take. There are four routes: by Lochgoil; the Kyles of Bute; Cairndow and Lochlomond; Locheck and Kilmun. In summer there is a daily coach to Oban, and ample means of posting.
There are posts by Cairndow, Cladich, and Lochgilphead.
The roads in Argyleshire are not turnpike: they were originally military and are now funded by the county (two-thirds) and the government (one-third). The government also meets the cost of superintending and inspecting these road by commissioners for highland roads and bridges. There are 10 miles of a former military road here, and another of 8 miles which is wholly funded by the county. In addition the Duke of Argyle had made and maintains some 36 miles of road.
Page 43 Inns, Etc.— 14.
Fuel.— Coal is brought from Glasgow, Ardrossan, and other places. Turf or peat is used in inland areas.


Inverchaolain

 




Loch Striven and Inverchaolin parish
Looking over to Loch Striven from Rothesay. Inverchaolin parish is on both sides of the loch. Dunoon and Kilmun parish on right of photograph.


Map of Inverchaolain parishOSA Vol.5, page 464
No particular mention of roads.

NSA, 108
Page 114 Mention of droving.
Means of Communication.—Of the 30 miles of road, the road from South Hall to Glendaruel is well maintained; the other roads are inferior. The roads are statute labour.
Fairs, Etc.—One fair, four public houses.
Fuel.
— Mostly coal but also some peat which is hard to obtain.
1843.




Jura
OSA
Vol.12, page 317 (Jura & Colonsay)
Page 321 Sea-weed used as manure.
Page 330 Antiquities, Etc. There was a monastery of Cistercians in this island. Their abbey stood in Colonsay, and its priory in Oronsay.
Page 331 In a reference to his salary he mentions the difficulties arising from having to pay his assistant two-fifths out of his salary, among them incurring the expense and danger of crossing broad perilous ferries to marry and baptize in the other islands.
Page 332 Advantages and Disadvantages.—Among its disadvantages are its remoteness and the difficulties faced by its ferries.
There are also a number of rivers that are not bridged and impassable when it has rained. More than half of the peat last year was ruined by the bad weather; there is a need to remove the duty on coal so that it can be more affordable.


Map of Jura NSA, 534
Page 535 On the west side of the island where there are many caves, two are called corpachs, “i.e. places where the inhabitants of Jura and other countries, on their way to Oransay and Iona to bury their dead, were in the habit of depositing the corpses of their friends, until a favourable opportunity of prosecuting their voyage to Iona and Oransay occurred. One of these corpachs is in Rhuintalen, opposite to Colonsay: the other, called the corpach of I Columkill, is several miles to the north-east, along the coast.” (See 6" maps Argyleshire CLXVII & CLVII)

Page 539 Mention of road from Lagg to Feolin Ferry
Mention of ferries.
Page Mention of bridges having been built.
Parochial Economy.
Harbours.
—There is a quay at Small Isles Harbour.
Page 543 Means of Communication.—There are ferries at “Kenuachdrach, to Craignish; the ferry of Lagg, to North Knapdale; the ferry of Feolin, at the Sound of Islay, situated at the south end of Jura, and directly opposite to Portaskaig, in Islay.”
There is a good government road between Feolin and Lagg. Mr Campbell has been making bridges, and roads to the main farms on his property.
Mail is landed at Lagg where there is a sub-office then taken by runner to Feolin Ferry.
Inns and Public-Houses.—Two.
1843.


Colonsay and Oronsay
Name.
—“These islands form one island when the tide retires, but are separated at flood-tide by an arm of the sea a mile broad, where it is usually crossed. At the point where they approach nearest, the islands are not above 100 yards apart.
Antiquities. Priory of Oronsay settled from Holyrood.
The first road in Colonsay was made at the cost of the present proprietor with the aid of the statute labour.
Parochial Economy. Harbours.—There is a good harbour in Colonsay with a quay and a road leading to it.
Inns, Etc.— Inn near the harbour.
1844.


Kilbrandon and Kilchattan
OSA
Vol.14, page 157
Page 161 Details of the slate quarries of Easdale.
Page 163 He refers to the difficulties caused by having to use peats as fuel, noting that although the removal of the coal duty has been helpful its cost is still high because of freight and insurance, and that the poor may still not be able to afford it yet live in an area where peat and turf are scarce.
Page 164 Public roads are daily improving. Statute labour is commuted.
Page 168 Remains of a few forts thought to be Danish and to have served as watchtowers as well as places of defence.


NSA, 71
Page 72 “The Sound of Clachan, which separates Seil from the mainland, is only a few yards in breadth. It runs nearly in a straight line for about two miles, and might be taken for an alpine river. A bridge was built across this sound fifty years ago, being perhaps the first instance of the kind in Great Britain where an island was thus joined to the mainland. This bridge is 70 feet wide, and 26 feet above high water mark, so that small vessels of twenty tons burden may pass under it.
Page 77 Details of the Easdale slate quarries which had been working for 200 years.
Page 78 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.—The nearest is Oban, 16 miles to the north. Steamers from Glasgow to the north pass through the Sound of Easdale and can be used as required.
“In this village there is an inn, several shops, and a post-office. There is a daily post between Easdale and Oban.”
Roads.—“The parish is well supplied with roads and ferries. The public road from Oban enters the parish from the northeast, at Clachan Bridge. It passes through the centre of Seil and Luing. There are several cross roads, which are kept in good repair.
Ecclesiastical State.— Mention of the Ferry of Cuan near the church on Seil.
Page 81 Fuel.—The quarriers at Easdale use coals from Glasgow. The farmers use peats, though these are becoming more scarce.
1843.


Kilcalmonell and Kilberry
OSA
Vol.10, page 54
Page 56 Canal, Roads, Etc. In writing about the projected canal at Crinan he argues that a canal would be better sited at Tarbert.
There are three good lines of road in the parish, kept in repair by an equivalent, paid for the statute labour. One of them intersects the peninsula of Kintyre, at the distance of six miles from its isthmus. The other two are on the opposite shores of Loch Tarbert, parallel to its direction; and, for the most part, through, the fine natural woods with which its sides are adorned.

Map of KilcalmonnellPage 60 Shell fish sent to market at Greenock and Campbelton.
Page 61 He refers to the efforts of the late Sherrif Stonefield to improve roads in Argyleshire.
Fuel.—Although some have peat near at hand it is still a time-consuming and expensive business to obtain and prepare it, and there is always the danger that it will be affected by rainy weather. The removal of the coal tax would help.
Advantages and Disadvantages.—The roads are good and there are good communications with the low country and the Western Isles by weekly packets to the lochs of East and west Tarbert. The post comes three time a week.
A list of occupations notes there were 3 posts, 1 post-master, 5 shopkeepers, 2 innkeepers,

NSA, 408
A large quantity of potatoes is exported annually for the English and Irish markets.
Page 411 Parochial Economy. Tarbert is a post-town receiving mail from Glasgow and forwarding it to Campbelton by land. It is “probably the ancient county town of Argyle.”
Ale-houses.—About a dozen.
1843

Origines Parochiales Scotiae Vol II, Part 1, page 33. In 1325/26 a road was made between the two Tarbarts.


Kilchaoman (Islay)
OSA
Vol.11, page 276
Page 276 Quay at Bowmore.
Page 278 Black Cattle.—Black cattle are taken by drovers to Dumbarton and Falkirk, and sometimes England.
Page 281 "Almost every farm has peatmoss within itself, of an excellent kind, affording charcoal for the smith, as we have no coals. These peats, with the fish oil they burn in lamps, make the habitation of the meanest cottager warm and cheery."
Page 282 Roads and Bridges. The roads on Islay are the best in the Western Isles. They are done by the statute labour work and a carriage can be driven 30 miles through the island. A packet, funded by the country and the government, goes to and from the mainland each week with the mail, passengers, and goods.

Map of Islay
NSA, 644
Page 655 Parochial Economy. Means of Communication.
There are twelve miles of a Parliamentary line of road in the parish, and thirty-four miles of statute labour road, all kept in a state of good repair. With three exceptions, the public road passes through every farm in the parish.
Bowmore, the nearest market town, is twelve miles distant. The post-office is at Bridgend, nine miles distant. The letters are brought thence by a private runner. The mail is received and despatched four times weekly,—twice by a steam packet, and twice through Jura by the ferries.

Inns.—Of the seven public houses, only three are respectable.
Fuel.— Mostly peat but some use coal brought from Glasgow.
Miscellaneous Observations. “A powerful steam packet plies regularly between the island and Tarbert. Districts almost inaccessible are now opened up by means of good roads…..”
1839, revised 1844


Kilchrenan and Dalavich
OSA
Vol.6, page 266
Page 266 Coals are extremely expensive owing to a heavy tax and an expensive transport by land, there being no sea coast here. This is particularly serious when peats cannot be cut because of bad weather.
Page 269 Woods, Inns, and Roads. Wood here is sold to the Lorn and Argyll furnace companies.


Map of Kilchrenan“There are 2 inns in the parish; one of them a very good house, with stables and boats at the ferry of Portsonachan, upon the shortest road to Bunaw and Oban. This road runs along the water of Naint through the romantic forest of Muckairn.”
“The roads of this district are very bad, the statute lahour having been suffered to be expended on lines of road thought more immediately necessary, out of the parish, for many years.”
At the south end of the parish, Mr Campbell of Kilmartin and Mr Campbell of Inverliver, have advanced considerably in carrying on the line of road along the west side of Lochow, as Mr Campbell of Sonachan has done on the east side.
A list of occupations notes 3 packmen, a carrier, and ferrymen at Portsonach and at Inisherath.

NSA, 372
Page 375 There are two churches here for both parishes which are about 9 miles apart. Occasionally the Minister will have a service at both on the same day but the distance and the state of the roads makes this difficult.
Three inns.


Kildalton
OSA
Vol.11, page 286
Page 287 Creels on horseback are used for carrying manure and peat. There is a want of good public roads with only two days statute labour work done each year; no work is done on private roads. By contrast the next parish have a good road kept up by a fund raised from the tenants, and carts are in use.
Page 288 Imports and Exports.—“This parish imports annually meal, salt, sugar, tea, iron, flaxseed, green hides, and other goods, to a considerable amount. The chief articles exported, are black cattle, horses, and linen yarn; for the women here are always employed in spinning, excepting a few weeks during harvest.
Page 289 Quay at Lagamhuilin.
Page 293 Peat is plentiful.

Map of Islay
NSA, 659
Island of Islay

Page 663 There is a public road in the parish.
Page 665 Parochial Economy. Bowmore is the nearest market and post town town but is 14 miles away: a runner brings the mail to the receiving house at Lagamhulin. Portellen and Lochknock are harbours and there is a lighthouse at Portellen.
Some live 8 or 10 miles from the church.
Page 667 Fairs.—Five fairs in Portellen for black cattle.
Inns.—“Three public houses and many licensed retail shops. There are also six distilleries.”
Fuel.—Mostly turf but as this is becoming scarcer with mosses being worked out or improved, coal will have to be used.
Miscellaneous Observations. Making good roads to the farms would be a useful improvement.
1844


Kilfinan
OSA
Vol.14, page 229
Page 230 Description of the Otter, a sandbank that runs into the loch for some 1800 yards.
Page 242 He mentions the difficulties in obtaining peats.
Page 244 Any deficiency in grain “is supplied by Irish meal, imported first to Clyde, and from thence by the packets to this parish, or by Dumfries meal carried coastwise to the same place, and by the conveyance above mentioned, hither.”
He argues that the packets that go to Greenock, albeit irregularly, are on the whole a bad thing as they encourage people to buy things they do not need, raise the price of veal, lamb, eggs etc locally, and tempt people to visit Greenock, perhaps fall into bad company and waste their money on trifles.
Page 246 Inns.—“There are 11 inns or public-houses in the parish. Two of them are slated, but all of them in very bad repair, and so exceedingly ill kept, that a traveller can scarcely get a decent bed, or a comfortable breakfast, in the best of them.

Map of KilfinanRoads and Bridges.
The parish has only three small bridges and very bad roads, despite a lot of money having been spent on them. This is due partly to the length of roads needed, the difficult terrain, and the work being undertaken by the country people who had no idea of how to make a road. Roads were thought to have been made satisfactorily but when they were neglected for a few years they ended up being the worst, or at least softer than untouched ground.

The main line runs for 40 miles from the public road at the head of Loch Fyne down to Aird Lamont. More than half has been finished through Kilmorich and Strachur and Stralachan parishes, and as a proper contractor is now employed it should be completed next year. A contractor for the bridges is to be appointed as without the bridges many small streams will be impassable for wheeled vehicles.

Other than this road, a cross-road, nearly completed, leaves the Inverary to Campbeltown road near Lochgilphead, crosses Lochfine at the ferry of Otter, then runs through the north of this parish to Glendaruel and Inverchaolan parishes to reach Dunoon.

Page 248 Ferries.—“There are 3 ferries; one, already mentioned, at Otter, near the N. end of the parish, across Lochfine to the parish of Kilmichael, in the district of Argyll. At this ferry, the loch is supposed to be near a league broad, and the fare is 3d. Sterling each man; 9d. each horse. It is badly attended on either side as to hands and boats; and at the inns very ordinary accommodation is to be had, when the traveller happens to be storm-staid. This is very surprising, and much to be regretted, as it is very much frequented, being on the very public line of road from all that part of Argyllshire lying on the N. W. side of Lochfine, to Cowal, Greenock, Port-Glasgow, and all the adjacent parts of the Low Country.

Kyles of Bute, c.1900. Detroit Publishing Company.The other 2 ferries, are one from Bute to this parish, across the Kyles, and the other from this parish across Lochfine on the line of road from Rothsay, in Bute, to Tarbert, a village on the W. of Lochfine, about half way from Inverary to Campbleton.

Page 255 Fuel—Peat is generally used but they have to be brought a great distance by bad roads “in bags on back loads, by some in creels upon cars or sledges,” or if the roads are more level and adequate, some use a cart. Most of the summer is taken up with bringing in peats and they can easily be lost because of the rain or the roads being too soft. In addition, the health of horses can be affected.
Those who can afford them use coal brought from Glasgow or Irvine. Although expensive it is cheaper than peat and as many have boats they would be better bringing in coal than wasting their time with peat.

Page 256 Antiquities. He refers to numerous duns, assumed to be places used for keeping a watch and sending a signal to neighbouring duns, which are in sight of each other.
Page 260 A regular postal service and a post-office is needed here. As the nearest is Inverary, close to 30 miles away we have to employ a runner to go there each week. Glendaruel would be an ideal place for a post-office for here and lower Cowal generally, being on a road halfway between Inverary and Rothesay.


NSA, 359
Page 366 Gunpowder factory 6 miles south of Kilfinan (note: near Kames)
Page 369 Parochial Economy. There is no market-town here but there is a post-office at Kilfinan subordinate to Cairndow, 30 miles away. There are two mail runners.
There are no turnpike roads in Argyleshire. The roads are statute labour but they are not well made or maintained and are often damaged in winter. The bridges however are adequate for our needs.

Otter FerryThere are no quays nor harbours in the parish, except a small pier at Otter Ferry. This pier seems to have been built previous to the introduction of steam-boats for the convenience of the ferry-boats, as this was the principal ferry for the people of the Knapdale district of Argyleshire when going to the low country. Since the introduction of steam-boats, however, travelling by the ferries has entirely ceased.
Page 372 Market.— A small cattle market is held at Otter Ferry twice a year.
Inns.—“Inns at Otter Ferry, which is four miles north of Kilfinan: at Kilfinan, and at Millhouse, which is six miles south of Kilfinan. The two others are ferry houses on the Kyles of Bute.
Fuel.—Peat available locally.
1843.


Kilfinichen and Kilviceuen including quad sacra parish of Iona
OSA
Vol.14, page 170
Page 173 Lochs and Rivers.—As the six rivers in Brolass and Airdmeanach have no bridges they become difficult or impossible to cross after heavy rain. The incumbent has been held up by them for 24 hours several times even though just miles from his house. There are also rivulets that become impassable.
Page 188 “The destructive rage with which the civil wars were carried on in the time of Charles the First, and a famine and pestilence, in the time of King William, almost depopulated the whole parish. In the reign of the latter Prince, people were dying for want upon the high road, and buried where they breathed their last, as the few surviving relations had neither strength nor means to carry them to the common burying places. Upon the whole coast of Brolass, it is said, 2 families only survived, and very many parts of the other districts were waste. King William's days are still remembered with horror.

Iona c.1900, Detroit Publishing CompanyPage 198 Details of Iona.
Page 203 (Iona) “To the N. of the abbey is a loch, as it is called, but probably an artificial pond. It has a paved causeway through the middle, which is still entire.
In a footnote he says “The walk is called Iumaire Iachair, which signifies a paved causeway.
Many watch-towers in the parish, said to be Danish.
Page 206 With no bridges, no roads other than the statute labour roads in Ross, and no stage-houses, travelling is tedious and sometimes dangerous.


The parish is very isolated not being on any shipping route and there being only the pass through Glenmore (with no road or bridge) to the rest of Mull.
Mention of “Bellach-na-co-sheilg, a pass near the marches of Ross and Brolass, where the people of the districts met at their hunting expeditions; from which circumstance it look its name.”
Page 208 Post Office.—The nearest post-office is in Aross which is 20 miles from the point of Ross. A few get their post from Auchnacraig which is 24 miles from the point. A runner had been employed to go to Aross but no longer; now letters can lie there for a month.


NSA, 296
Page 306 Several “Danish/Norwegian” watch-towers.
Page 307 “…..a famine and pestilence during the reign of William and Mary, almost depopulated the whole parish. In King William's time, people died for want upon the high road, and were buried where they lay down,—their few surviving relatives having neither strength nor means to carry the bodies to the common burying places.

Map of KilfinichenPage 310 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.
—There is no market-town in the parish.
Village.—There are 5 shop-keepers in the village of Bonessan.
Means of Communication.—“Aros, in the parish of Kilninian and Kilmore, is the head post-office for this parish; but there is a sub-office at Bonessan, and a receiving-house at Gribun, and regular foot-runners convey the mail bags.” In the past people here had to travel 20 miles or more to Aros.
There are no turnpike roads in this parish, or in Mull, nor any Government roads, as in Skye and other parts of the Highlands. Communication, however, is much facilitated to and from the low country by steam-boats, especially in summer and autumn, when clouds of tourists and visitors come to view Staffa and Iona.
Fairs.—Two fairs in Bonessan for black cattle.
Fuel.—Peat, and coal by those who can afford it - it is generally brought from the Clyde.
Miscellaneous Observations. A notable change from the time of the last account has been the introduction of steam-boats that has opened a considerable trade with Glasgow as well as making travel easier. There are however a number of small boats that are inadequate for the journey and it is quite common for goods to be damaged or lost: it would be very useful if a regular service by a larger sized packet or vessel could be instituted.

Iona. Very full details are given of the history of Iona. See also Wikipedia & 6" map Argyleshire CIV


Killarow and Kilmeny
OSA
Vol.11, page 298
Page 299 Quay in Bowmore.
Page 300 Cattle—Two annual markets for black cattle, attended by drovers from the mainland.



Map of Islay

Page 302 Roads and Bridges—“The roads in Islay are carried on to great perfection. Those already finished are excellent, particularly from the Sound of Islay to Bowmore, a distance of about 12 miles, wherein there are 7 bridges, built with stone and lime. The rest of the roads go on in course; and, in less than 20 years, they may be all travelled with carriages.

NSA, 668
Island of Islay
Harbour and quay at Bowmore.
Page 669 Some details of Finlaggan, centre of the Lords of the Isles.
Further Information.






Killean and Kilchenzie
OSA
Vol.19, page 627
Page 627 “Its length, by the measurement of the road, is 18 miles.
Page 629 In a statistical table he notes that there was a ferryman to Gigha.
Page 631 Advantages and Disadvantages.—“The advantages of the parish are, a good road, its vicinity to the sea, and to a market at Campbelltown, with abundance of natural manure from sea-ware and lime-stone. Its greatest disadvantages are, want of timber, and scarcity of fuel in many farms, on which the peat-mosses are now exhausted.”


NSA, 376
Page 377 “The only high road in the parish is that which leads from Tarbert to Campbeltown.”
Page 379 Reference to boats landing coals and uplifting potatoes for the English and Irish markets.
Typhous fever and other epidemic diseases are becoming prevalent, which, it is believed, have been introduced into the parish by Irish vagrants who are conveyed by steam-boats to Campbelton, and itinerate though the parish, begging their way from house to house.
Page 380 “Peat and turf are the only fuel but are scarce and at a great distance.
Page 390 With no local market, produce has to be carted 20 miles or so to Campbelton.
Page 394 Fairs, Etc.—One small annual fair. Three inns and 7 licensed alehouses.
1843


Kilmadan
OSA
Vol.4, page 337
Page 341 “Peats are the common fuel, and for the most part very ill to be got, on account of the height of the hills, and bad access to them.
The statute labour is exacted in money. The bridges are built and repaired by the statute money.

NSA, 672
Page 674 “Several smacks … trade from the mouth of the Ruel to the adjacent ports on the frith of the Clyde in the export of potatoes (for which this parish is famed,) and generally return laden with manure for the farmers.
No particular mention of roads.
1844


Kilmartin
OSA
Vol. 8, page 90
Page 93 He gives details of the plan for a canal between Loch Gilp and Crinan and the advantages that would result from this, namely avoiding the Mull of Kintyre, improving communication between the Western Isles and the mainland, and giving easier access to coal and salt. If successful, there is even the possibility of linking to Loch Awe which would open up a large tract of country.
Page 98 Mention of a ferryman.
Page 102 There is a weekly packet from Loch Gilp to Greenock.
Page 105 Village, Fuel, Etc.—“Kilmartin has a commodious inn, situated upon the great road from the south end of Kintyre, by Tarbert and Lochgilp, and leading to Fort William, by Craignish and Lorn. It has 3 markets in the year, 1 for black cattle, and 2 for horses, where the country people gather from 15 to 20 miles round, with webs of linen and woollen clothes, and such small parcels of lint, as can be spared from their families.
Peats are used as fuel though they are easily damaged by rain.
Page 109 “The wages of a common day labourer, at husbandry, road making, or any other work in that way, is from 1 s. to 14 d.


Map of Kilmartin
NSA, 547
The high road from Lochgilphead to Oban passes through here.
Mention of Ford of Lochawe.
Page 564 Parochial Economy. Two markets are held at Kilmartin and two at the Ford.
The post is brought from Lochgilphead by a private runner.
There are daily steam-boat services between Lochgilphead and Glasgow.
The road between Lochgilphead and Kilmartin is very good; much money has been spent to improve it in recent years.
Page 566 Inn at Kilmartin and two change-houses at the Ford.
Turf is available at the moss of Crinan though coal is used by those who can afford them.



Kilmore and Kilbride
OSA
Vol.11, page 121
Page 123 Carts have now been used for some 12 or 14 years. Manures used here are dung, sea ware and shell sand brought in from the coastal areas of Ross and Inverness. The use of lime is limited by the high price of coal for burning the local limestone and the peats being so easily damaged in a wet climate.
Page 124 Reference to supposed Danish watch-towers on the coast.

Connel Bridge Page 125 Harbours and Ferries, Etc.—Four harbours, namely: “Oban, Dunstaffnage Bay, Ardintraive, opposite to Oban, in the island of Kerera, and the Horse Shoe Harbour, a little to the westward of Ardintraive in the same island. There are 3 ferries, viz. Conil Ferry, between this parish and that of Ardchattan; Fort Kerera, between the main land and that island; and the Mull Ferry, between the latter and the Island of Mull.
The ferry at Conil looks very dangerous but the skill of the boatmen allows them to cross over safely.


Map of Kilmore and KilbridePage 127 Roads, Bridges, Etc.—There is one great line of road finished, from Conil Ferry to the extremity of the parish, on the S., about 6 miles in length; another from Oban to Kilmore Kirk, across the middle of the parish eastwards about 4 miles in length; and a third from Oban to Conil, running also eastward. It is now the common road for carriages, etc. from Oban to Inveraray.”
Bridges have been made where needed. These roads have all been made in the last 33 years.

There are 4 principal inns, viz. at Oban, Conil, Claghchombie, and Kilmore, nigh the kirk, besides several smaller ones.” He notes that “Claghchombie inn is situated where the roads from Oban to Inverary, and from Conil to Nether Lorn-cross, meet. It is not far from Kilmore, and was on the common carriage road to Oban, till of late, that the lower one was finished.
Page 132 Details of Oban.

NSA, 522
Oban c.1900, Detroit Publishing CompanyMention of Connell ferry.
Page 529 Parochial Economy. Markets.—
There are four markets held in Oban for black cattle and for horses. There are also four small fairs in Kilmore.
Harbours.—Frequent steamers from Glasgow, Inverness, Iona, Staffa, and Skye call in at Oban in summer. There is also a daily coach in summer running to Inverary.
Post-Office.—Post office in Oban.
Inns.—Outwith Oban there are 4 inns; in Oban itself there is a principal hotel and a number of public houses.


Fuel
.— The fuels used are coal from Glasgow and Ayrshire, and peat.


Kilninian and Kilmore
OSA
Vol.14, page 139 (Kilninian only for OSA)
Page 142 Roads and Bridges, Etc—The roads here are very bad and improving very slowly. While partly due to the proprietors not giving enough attention to this, the main problem is the terrain and there not being sufficient funds to overcome natural obstacles.
There is only one bridge in the parish and after rain many of the torrents can make the roads impassable. At present another bridge is being built at Tobermory.
Page 144 Harbours, Boats, and Ferries—He lists the various harbours in the district, the main one of which is at Tobermory, a village built by the “British Society for improving the coasts.” Three or four boats belonging to the parish sail along the coast with freight.


Map of Kilninian and KilmoreFor a few years, one or two packet-boats have sailed between Greenock and Tobermory with calls at intervening harbours. However, as they are conducting private business which varies, they cannot be depended on by the public. Another packet goes to Coll once a week.
There are 2 ferries to Morven, 1 to Ardnamurchan, and 1 to the parish of Kilfinichen. Occasional vessels go to Tiree and other islands.
Page 145 Post Offices, Sheriff Court.—Post offices at Aros and Tobermory with three deliveries a week.
Page 147 Tobermory with its fine harbour has easy communication by water with the fishing lochs to the north and the Clyde, Liverpool etc on the south. The potential for improvements is limited because of the coal tax and having to use peat or turf as fuel which takes a great deal of time to obtain and is often damaged by bad weather. The ground also is very barren and it would need much attention from the Society which founded the town to overcome these disadvantages.

Page 152 Exports and Imports.—Exports are kelp, black cattle, sheep and wool and imports are oatmeal, seed-corn, seed-potatoes, leather, salt and merchant goods. Each of the parishes on the island holds a fair for the black cattle, all within days of each other.

NSA, 339
Parish of Kilninian and Kilmore
Page 340 Lack of roads.
Page 345 Parish of Ulva
Page 349 There are remains of a pier or causeway, that lead from the ruins of Glackingdaline castle to Ulva.
Page 352 “To make up for the short time steam-boats give travellers, an opportunity is afforded them of remaining behind, and, after having at leisure examined the island, they may proceed in the evening to the Ulva inn in any of the Gometra or Ulva boats, which at all times attend the steamers; and next day they may either return to Staffa and again embark, or proceed by land to Tobermory, passing by the cataract of Esse-forse before noticed; or, varying the route, they may proceed by land or water up Loch-nan-gaul coast towards the village of Salen, where the steam-boats touch.
Page 354 Parish of Tobermory
Details of the town and harbour.
Page 357 Part of the parish of Salen
Mention of a bridge over the Salen on the new road to Knock.
Page 358 United Parish (i.e. of above 4)
The roads are in a very bad state as the funds are totally inadequate for such a large area. Although the proprietors do what they can, the task is beyond any means but government help.
Steam navigation has been of great assistance in opening up communication with the low country but if roads and bridges could be made with government help, this would help to encourage new initiatives with an input of capital from the low country and result in a great improvement to this area.


Kilninver and Kilmelford
OSA
Vol.10, page 315
Page 316 “The Sound of Clachansoail is about two miles long, and separates the Island of Soail and parish of Kilbrandan from the Continent. The Sound is narrow, being no more than 80 feet over, and admits vessels of only between 10 and 20 tons burden, as it is dry and passable at low water, in some parts, both for men and horses. It runs smooth and straight, with a strong current, and forms a beautiful canal. Formerly there was a ferry boat here, but lately there has been a bridge built over it, consisting of a single arch, 72 feet wide, and 27 feet above the highest water mark.
Page 325 Among the disadvantages are the great distance from markets and having to obtain peat at much trouble and expense. Tenants may also owe their landlords the personal service of obtaining peats for the landlord as well as themselves. The removal of the coal duty would alleviate this somewhat.


NSA, 61

Kilninver - old road to Loch Awe
The old road from Kilninver to Loch Awe. Based on quarter-inch OS map 1923

Page 62 “The sound of Clachan above-mentioned, which forms the western boundary of Kilninver, is about two miles long, and averages about eighty feet broad. It runs smooth and straight, with a strong current, and forms a beautiful canal. Though it is passable at some places at low water, and a regular ferry always available, yet the inconvenience was generally felt and complained of. A bridge at length was built, consisting of a single arch, 72 feet wide and 27 feet above the highest water-mark, and admits vessels of about twenty tons burden.
Page 65 Mention of spectacular scenery on the road from Lochgilphead to Oban with “rocks on both sides several hundred feet high, and in many places overhanging the road.”

Page 68 Antiquities. - “Cairn Challein, or Colin's cairn, is erected on a conspicuous spot, on the old line of road, between Kilninver and Lochawe….
Note: the mention of the cairn makes it likely that this road went much along the line of the present road for about two miles SE of Kilninver to the Euchan and then followed the Euchan to Loch Scamadale. From here a track goes down to the cairn and Loch Avich from where Loch Awe would be easily reached, perhaps near Dalavich with a ferry on the opposite shore at Portinnisherrich, or following the north side of the loch up to Kilchrennan where there was another ferry on a route that led to Inverary.This road coincides with part of the route recorded on the Heritage Path site as String of Lorn (Sreang Latharnach) that had been in use variously as a pilgrimage route to Iona, a drove road, and a coffin road to Kilmore church.

Page 70 Parochial Economy.
The nearest market-town is Oban, about eight miles from Kilninver.
Fifteen miles of public road in the parish.
Fair.—Two hiring fairs.
Inns, Etc—Two inns and 2 public houses.
Fuel.—Coal and peat.
1843
Note: The building of the Bridge at Clachan Seil - a Brief History by George Doyle 1992 gives full details of the bridge. It is popularly known as the "Bridge over the Atlantic". See also a Secret Scotland article on the bridge - this has interesting information about other bridges and causeways in the west of Scotland.


Knapdale, North
OSA
Vol.6, page 255
Page 256 Mention of numerous watch-towers along 150 miles of coast.
No particular mention of roads although cattle are sent to market.

 


NSA, 631
Page 636 Forts.—He refers to fortifications that might have been watch-towers, and to a Dun a bheallich, or the fort of the pass which may have guarded the pass between the bay of Carsaig and the bay of Tayvallich.
Castle Sween commanded the entrance to Lochswen, and was regarded as the key of the districts of Knapdale and Glassary, and as such it was deemed a position of the greatest importance."
Page 640 Navigation.—Five vessels trade from here to Greenock, Liverpool, and the coast of Ireland.
Parochial Economy.
Market-Town
.—The nearest market town is Lochgilphead.

Map of North KnapdaleMeans of Communication.—Bellanoch is a sub-office to Lochgilphead, with three deliveries a week.
The road between Lochgilphead and Keills, where there is a ferry to the Island of Jura, passes for fifteen miles through the parish, sending off a branch at the farm of Barinluasojan to the church of Kilmichael Inverlussay. There is a new line of road in progress from Inverlussay to Castle Swen, which, when completed, will be of essential benefit to the whole of the east side of the parish, and to the district of Knap in the parish of South Knapdale.
Steam-boats sail daily between Glasgow and Inverness, through the Crinan Canal.
Page 643 Inns and Alehouses.—Six.
Fuel.—The main fuel is peat, expensively worked in mosses 2 or 3 miles away. Some wood is also used and coals by those who can afford them.
Miscellaneous Observations. Considerable benefits from 20 miles or more of public roads having been made, and the opening of the Crinan Canal.
1844.


Knapdale, South
OSA
Vol.19, page 308
Page 309 Mention of road between Inverlussay and Glassary.
Page 320 Roads.—“The roads are extremely bad, especially in winter. The best is a part of the great road on the east side of the parish, which leads from Inverary to Campbelton. It was made by the spirited exertions of the Duke of Argyle, assisted by the gentlemen of the county. In some places it is formed on the sea-shore, through a ridge of rugged rocks, 34 feet at least perpendicular above the sea.

Nine publicans are mentioned in a list of occupations.
Page 326 Disadvantages. Among these are the bad roads, the distance from market-towns, and the time taken to gather peats and the danger of losing them in a wet season.

NSA, 257
Page 259 The many streams and rivers here are fordable in summer but the larger ones are not fordable in winter. However, those on the line of the main roads are bridged.
Page 262 Antiquities. There used to be 7 ancient chapels here.
He refers to an incident in 1643 involving an old cottage at “Stronchullin on the coast of Lochfine, and not far from the church of Inverneill“, which lay at the foot of a hill over which the road to Tarbert went
Page 265 Parochial Economy. Details of the Crinan canal.
Page 270 More than 20,000 steam-boat passengers now pass through the canal each year, as well as many cattle, sheep and lambs. There is now a passage-boat on the canal which makes the journey from Greenock to Oban and Inverness much quicker.

Map of South KnapdalePage 273 Roads.—There is a very good road from Daill in the north-east of the parish to Barnellan in the south. Where it leads for 10 or 12 miles on the eastern edge of the hills that lie between Lochfine and Lochcaolisport it is known as the Lliabh Gaoil.
Before this road was made Kintyre was quite isolated from the rest of Argyleshire. “The only path by which any communication between the two places could be maintained, was almost quite impassable. It ran along hills and dales, which were intersected by water courses without any bridges. In summer, these waters were fordable, but in winter the attempt to cross them was both difficult and dangerous.

Although not as busy now because of steamships, it was and is still very useful as the only road connecting Argyleshire with Kintyre. It was made by Sheriff Campbell (d.1777) whose perseverance saw it through to completion. An English engineer had been employed to survey a route but when “he attempted to travel over the ground; the rocks were so precipitous, the ferns so gigantic, the Englishman so unwieldy, and so unaccustomed to travel such rough grounds, that, after much tumbling and scrambling, he was obliged to betake himself to his boat, and finish his survey by rowing along the shore.

Market-Town.— Those in the south of the parish use Tarbert to buy necessities and to dispose of their produce whereas those in the north use Lochgilphead.
Means of Communication.—There are regular and cheap steam-boat services to Glasgow and ports on the Clyde and to Oban, Fort William and Inverness as well as Tobermory, Strontian, and Skye. Jura and Islay can be reached from West Lochtarbert.
The mail comes from Inverary to Lochgilphead from where it used to be taken by land to Tarbert. Now, however, it is taken by steamer from Addressing (Ardrissaig) to Tarbert missing out large stretches of the parish to the great inconvenience of those living there.

Inns.— “On the western side of this parish, along Lochcaolisport, there is but one public-house, which is all that is necessary. On the eastern side, at Ardrissaig, and that part of the mission of Tarbert connected with this parish, the number is much greater.
Fuel—Mostly peat although coal from Glasgow and Ardrossan is used on the east side of the parish.


Lismore and Appin
OSA
Vol.1, page 482
Page 496 Hills.—A fine road now leads through Glenco.
Page 490 He refers to the amount of time wasted in obtaining and preparing peats and the difficulties arising from the coal tax.
Page 491 “Lismore was a Bishop's See, the residence of the Bishop of the Isles, and, at certain periods, of the Bishop of Argyle.”
Page 493 Antiquities. Vestiges of Roman fortifications on Lismore.
Near the cathedral there are remains of what was probably a watch-tower, so common on the west coast.
Page 496 Services.—He refers to the difficulties arising from tenants having to perform services for their landlords. He says in passing that some work 2 or 3 days on the roads.

Map of Lismore and Appin

Roads and Bridges
.—“Since the residence of the present incumbent in the parish, roads and bridges have undergone a remarkable change for the better, especially in Appin. There is an excellent line of road, mostly finished, from Shian Ferry through Airds, Strath of Appin, Duror, and Glenco, to the King's House at Lubnamart, with 6 or 7 bridges, for a course of 17 or 18 computed miles, besides several by-roads. Last year a line of road has been opened to Glencreren. There has been little done to the roads in Lismore. There are no tolls in the Highlands.
Post-Office.—A post-office is now established in Appin removing the need for the former privately employed runner to collect the mail from Inverary. Now there is a runner three times a week to Bunaw and Inverary. Mail is also taken from Bunaw to Oban and over to Aross on Mull. Other branches go from Appin to Fort William and to Strontian. A letter now takes about 3 days to come from Edinburgh.
Numbers of carriers are employed monthly between Appin, Benderloch, Oban, and Glasgow and vessels called packets run generally once a month between Greenock, Oban, and Mull, with goods of various sorts for the accommodation of the neighbouring countries.
Page 498 Public HousesIn Kingerloch there are 2 public houses, at the two ferries to Lismore and Appin, where they cannot be wanted (are needed); in Appin there are 9 or 10; in Lismore 7 or 8.
Page 499 Sea Coasts and Currents. Mention of currents at ferries at Bailichelish, leading up to Lochleven and the slate quarry, between Lismore and Appin, and at Shian Ferry, between Appin and Benderloch
Mines, Quarries, Etc.—Large slate quarry at Bailichelish, from where slates are taken to Leith, Clyde, England, Ireland, and even to America.
Lime burning has started in Linisore and Appin but the coal tax restricts it somewhat.
Advantages and Disadvantages.—Good roads.
Peats are generally used but too much time is taken to obtain them and they can be ruined by bad weather. The coal duty is very much a hinderance to any progress and the salt duty also causes difficulties. There is a lack of public markets here.

NSA, 223
Page 225 Mention of the ferry of Shian and the Kings House at the head of Glencoe.
Page 229 Mention of the Fingalian heroes hunting near Lochoscar.
Page 223 Mention of droving.
Page 238 Reference to Ossian and the Fingalians
Page 248 Slate worked at Ballachulish is conveyed up to 650 yards to the sea by tramway where it is loaded onto boats.
Page 251 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.— “The nearest market-town to the parish is Oban, which is ten miles by land from Appin, and seven miles by sea from Lismore. Here there is a ready market, to a considerable extent, for every kind of produce, and here also can every kind of supplies be obtained; but since steam navigation has been established on the western coast, the principal trade is with Glasgow and the south.

Means of Communication, Etc.— At the time of the OSA the mail came three times a week from Inverary to the then newly established post-office in Appin. Now it is daily with a runner going to a penny post at Lismore, and a runner from Strontian to the penny-post in Kingerloch. Newspapers published in Glasgow reach here the same day, and Lismore the next morning.

There are regular steamers between Glasgow, Inverness, Mull and Skye which afford fast and cheap transport for passengers and produce.

There are no tolls in this parish. The roads are kept in excellent order, particularly in Appin, by converted statute labour. The roads in Lismore are not so good, and there are scarcely any roads at all in Kingerloch, if we except two or three miles, which the proprietor made near the mansion house.

NN2256 : The Devil's Staircase by Walter Baxter

The Devil's Staircase
  © Copyright Walter Baxter and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Page 252 In describing the ecclesiastical administration of the parish he refers to the considerable distances that have to be travelled by two missionaries when covering their assigned districts.
Page 255 Fairs.—There is a small fair in Lismore to sell off any cattle that remain unbought by the drovers who visit the island to buy for the southern markets. There are also two fairs at Duror, in Appin; and cattle markets there to allow drovers to pick up additional stock as they make their way to the southern markets
Inns.—“There is an excellent inn at the ferry of Bailechelish, on the north; and there are also inns at Shian ferry, on the south; at the ferry of Port Appin; and at the ferry of Crigan, on Lochcreran. A few miles north of these, is the inn at Portnacroish; and still farther north, and within five miles of the inn of Bailechelish, there is the Duror inn: and there is also a small public-house at the farm of Clachaig, in Glencoe, which is very useful to people passing through the glen. These seem to be necessary, as the most of them are at the ferries; but there are, besides these, several other little dram-shops, which are by no means necessary.

Fuel.
—He explains how uneconomic it is to have to use peat. In Lismore they have to be tramped underfoot then kneaded by hand to make the fibres stick together; and as they are becoming scarce now have to be brought by sea and land from Kingerloch and Benderloch in Ardchattan. The peat in those places is easier to work and is near at hand so is more economical.
Miscellaneous Observations. In arguing that Lismore would make a good place to start some industry he refers to Glasgow being 24 hours away by steamer, and Liverpool 2 days.


Lochgoilhead and Kilmorich
OSA
Vol.3, page 160

 



Ben Arthur seen from ArrocharPage 164 Although limestone is available locally it cannot be fully exploited because of the bad roads and the difficult communications with the various parts of the parish. Some limestone is brought in from Ireland.
Page 173 Fish. Herring caught in Loch-long and Loch-goil can be taken to Greenock or Glasgow by boat, wheras those caught in Loch-fine have to be taken in creels on horse-back to the head of Loch-goil, some 8 or 10 miles. This is an additional expense and the fish can be damaged on the journey.
Page 177 Cattle is sold to the butchers of Glasgow, Paisley, Greenock, and Dumbarton.

Page 188 Inns.—There is an inn at Lochgoil-head on a well-frequented pass between the West Highland and the Low Country, and another at Cairndow on the great western military road, and “the only stage between Arrochar and Inveraray.” There are also some huts where spirits are sometimes sold.

Roads and Bridges.—“The roads were formerly made and kept in repair by the statute labour; but that method was found inconvenient, and ineffectual, for making and keeping up good roads.
Some years ago, an act of Parliament was obtained for the county of Argyle, converting the statute labour into money, to be paid at the rate of 2 s. by every male person above 14 years of age. There is also an assessment upon the land, at the rate of 1 s. per pound of valued rent, a third of which is payable by the proprietors, and two-thirds by the tenants.
"

Bridge on military road The Rest and Be Thankful  military road
Two views of the Rest and Be Thankful road. For further information see
Construction of the New A83 Rest and Be Thankful Road 1937-41
- Arrochar, Tarbert and Ardlui Heritage site
History Of The Rest And be Thankful, Brian D Osborne - Arrochar, Tarbert and Ardlui Heritage site

Commemorative stone at the Rest and Be Thankful summit

Stone at the summit of the Rest & Be Thankful. It reads: Military Road repaired by 93rd Regiment 1768. Transferred to Commissioners for H.R.&B. in the year 1814

Map of Lochgoilhead"The great military road from Dumbarton, to the West and North-west Highlands, goes through 16 miles of the upper end of this parish; but, upon the west coast of Loch-long, and upon both sides of Loch-goil, there is scarce so much as a path; the ruggedness of the country renders travelling extremely difficult, and the many large and rapid waters without bridges, make these parts of the parish often impassable.
It is found very difficult to keep up the bridges in many parts of the country; the rivers swell so suddenly, and rush down from the mountains with such rapidity, that the bridges must be built in very advantageous situations, in order to stand any time. There is one bridge in particular, near Lochgoil-head, which has fallen three times, within the last 15 years; it was built at first, and twice rebuilt, at the expense of the inhabitants.


Page 190 Advantages and Disadvantages—Those living near Loch-fine suffer from scarcity of peat which they have to obtain from the mountain summits. They also suffer from difficult communications with the Low Country, and the high price of coal to which is added the coal duty.
Page 192 The other parts of the parish however have an easy access to markets by the military road and by sea with Greenock, Dumbarton, Glasgow etc being easily reached.

NSA, 701
Page 706 Parochial Economy.
Lochgoilhead is now a main route to Inverary where a steamer from Glasgow calls every day and the journey continued for 8 miles by stagecoach.
1844

Addendum
Miscellaneous Observations

Since the last Account a major change has been the introduction of steam navigation. Instead of black-cattle and sheep having to be driven a long and debilitating distance they now arrive in Glasgow and Greenock in a few hours. Herring no longer have to be taken on horseback to Lochgoilhead, and now reach the market on the same day they were caught. They even reach Liverpool the day after they were caught and are sent onward by rail to Manchester and other towns. People journeying to the mainland no longer have to climb the Duke of Argyle's bowling green, or sail across sometimes dangerous waters and often in bad weather.
1845


Morvern

For further information on Morvern including details of roads, see Morvern transformed: a Highland parish in the nineteenth century By Philip Gaskell

OSA
Vol.10, page 262
Page 266 “The exports are, cows, horses, sheep, wool, kelp, timber, and barks. The imports consist of many articles; the principal of which are, meal yearly in great quantities, tanned leather, iron, tar, ropes, smearing butter, merchant goods of various kinds, &c.

Map of MorvernPage 267 Roads, Rivers, Etc.—There is a line of road along the coast made by the statute labour which can be ridden but any other roads are in a state of nature. The people are starting to realise the advantages of good roads but being scattered and there being a want of heritors to push them forward, progress is very slow.

There are many torrents that are dangerous in flood; only three are bridged and one of these is in a very unsafe condition.

Wood from this locality is sold to the Lorn-furnace company for charcoal.

Page 269 Ferries, Etc.— There is a stated ferry to the Mull from Ferenish and another from Dorlin at the mouth of Loch Suineart over to Ardnamurchan. One is needed in the east of the parish, either at Kyle or Knock “where, though the boatmen ferry at times, one cannot force them out but when it suits their humour and conveniency, and even then at whatever rates they please to exact.
Page 275 Miscellaneous Observations. —With peat so difficult and time-consuming to obtain it would be a great benefit if coal could be brought here by sea.
There is a need for a more regular communication by water to the low country. There is a vessel comes from the Clyde but it is used for private business which takes precedence over public convenience.


NSA, 163
Page 169 Folklore tells of a particular rock formation being the remains of a bridge which a lady of great physical strength had started to build between Morvern and Mull.
Note: Carn-na-Caillich - see map.
Page 174 In talking about the domestication of wild animals he refers to “an old respectable person, who had some years ago rented the ferry and small inn of Lochalin, and succeeded wonderfully in training a magpie, which repaid the expenses of her education, by not infrequently subjecting her preceptor to the very unnecessary trouble of paddling to the opposite shore, where, in place of the expected passenger, he found his docile pupil perched upon a rock, chuckling with hearty mirth at the success of her imitations.”
Note: This must refer to the short crossing from Lochaline village across the mouth of Loch Aline rather than over to Mull - see 6" map Argyleshire sheet LXX.

Page 189 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.—Tobermory and Oban although since the village of Lochalin has been formed some people are now going there.
Means of Communication.—This is much improved since steam-navigation started with a service in 1821 from Glasgow to Lochalin and Tobermory. There are 3 ferries on the Sound of Mull, and two on Loch Suinart. In winter when the service to Tobermory can be interrupted there is a packet-boat between Oban and Lochalin.
Post-Office.—There is a sub-office to Oban here but due to the lack of roads in this parish that make Oban near impossible to reach by land the mail has to cross two islands and three ferries.
There is a road of sorts along the Sound of Mull but a cart can only be driven on it for 5 continuous miles. There are no roads in the interior. The Government grant which had a stipulation attached to it was not accepted so that “the county line, as it is termed, does not extend to or embrace this parish.” Various possible lines of roads have been surveyed. However, the main rivers have been bridged, though further work needs to be done.
He refers to several safe anchorages along the coast and says that a pier at Lochalin had been constructed.
Page 194 Fairs.—“A fair is held in the parish twice a-year, on the days preceding the Mull summer and winter markets, for the sale of black-cattle, and the hiring of servants, and the transaction of district business.
Ale-houses.—Three public-houses, and three places where spirits are sold.
Fuel.—Turf, peat, and coal by some. The first two takes much time and expense to gather.


Muckairn
OSA - see Ardchattan and Muckairn

NSA, 508
Page 519 Details of the smelting works at Bonawe (further information).
Page 520 Vessels come from Ulverstone with iron ore and return with iron bars once it has been smelted.
Parochial Economy. Market-Town,—Oban, which is 12 miles from the church.
Means of Communication.—The Oban to Inverary road passes through for 8 miles but there are no other proper roads. A coach runs on this road. There is a post-office at Bonaw.
Inns.—Two.
1844.

Saddell and Skipness
OSA
Vol.12, page 475
Page 478 Roads.—There is a road from Inverary to Campbeltown and the south end of Kintyre where there is a ferry over to Ireland. There is another line of road on the west side of Kintyre.
The roads are very good and well maintained: they were made partly by statute labour and partly by voluntary subscription. In order to complete them an act of parliament was obtained that allowed a stent to be imposed. The exertions of the gentlemen have to be noted in these improvements, not just in their own district but elsewhere in the county, particularly the major undertaking at Sha’-goil.

Map of Saddell and SkipnessRivers and Bridges. A number of rivers here still need to be bridged but with no funds available, there is a need for public aid. This lack of bridges has serious effects “particularly in the case of the post, surgeons called to the sick, the minister of the parish, and the parishioners in getting to and from the church, and in travelling about their affairs, marriages, christenings, burials, markets, mills, smithies etc.” The commissioners of supply and surveyors of roads have put large planks across them for foot-passengers but horses cannot cross when the streams are in flood.
Page 480 Details of the Herring Fishery
Page 483 Now that the duty on coal taken coastwise has been removed, coal can be used instead of peats which were difficult and expensive to obtain from the hills and in danger of being unusable in wet weather. The time saved can also be used to carry limestone in for manure.
Page 484 Details of the abbey of Saddell.
Page 487 Many beggars from Ireland and various parts of Scotland.

 


NSA
, 436
Page 455 Details of Cistercian monastery at Saddell. He notes that “after it had for centuries withstood the violence of the solstitial rains and equinoctial gales the hands of a modern Goth converted it into a quarry, out of which he took materials to build dikes and offices,—paving some of the latter with the very grave-stones.
Page 450 Smuggling was once prevalent.
No particular mention of roads.


Southend
OSA
Vol.3, page 363
Situation, Extent. - Southend is about 7 leagues from Ballycastle but little trade is carried out with Ireland. There is a ferry which the Irish use to bring in some black cattle and return with small horses.
Surface, Etc.—
Forty years ago there were no carts here and very little lime used. Although it is now used, this is limited by the tax on coal,which is needed for burning limestone..
Produce.—Barley, meal, and potatoes, are sold in Campbeltown.


Map of Southend
NSA, 413
Page 430 In a description of the lighthouse at the Mull of Kintyre he says that the “light-room and the reflecting apparatus were brought from Edinburgh, and carried chiefly upon men's shoulders over the mountains.” The lighthouse was completed in 1788. In 1828 a new road was made through the Mull to the lighthouse.
Page 433 Parochial Economy. It is 9 miles to Campbelton, the nearest market and post-town. There are no turnpike roads here but the roads and bridges are good thanks to the efforts of the main heritor.
Page 435 Inns.—One inn and 4 other establishments.
Fuel—Peat is obtained at the expense of much time and labour. Inferior coal is available in the parish of Campbeltown, but is 10 or 12 miles away.
Miscellaneous Observations. Building a pier or quay at Dunaverty bay would allow the parish to obtain better prices for their produce on the Clyde and elsewhere than in Campbeltown, as well as ensuring a direct supply of coal from Ayr, the Troon, and Ballycastle in Ireland.
1843.


Strachur and Stralachlan

 





Strachur village
Strachur church. This is the old road that runs through the village. The village has now been by-passed by a more modern road.

OSA Vol.4, page 555
Page 560 Possible alarm-tower on the summit of Sien-Sluai (Sith an t’Slunin, 4 miles SSW of Strachur).
Page 563 Charcoal is made here and used at the furnace set up on the other side of Loch Fyne; it is also sent to England (further details).
Page 564 Two ferrymen and two innkeepers.
Page 567 A road is currently being made on the south side of Lochfine.
Page 568 Road on north side of Lochfine
Page 573 Disadvantages.—Peat is used but is both difficult and expensive to obtain. Removing the coal tax would improve matters and also allow greater use of lime if coal was used to burn the locally available limestone. The nearby parishes of Lochgoilhead and Dunoon, being on the Clyde do not have to pay this tax.
Advantages.—Being near the Clyde, butchers from Greenock and Glasgow come directly here to buy cattle, as for the whole of Cowal. Greenock is easily accessed by the farmers where they can sell their produce and purchase anything they need.

Map of Strachur and StralachlanNSA, 103
Page 106 Navigation.—Wool and potatoes are sometimes collected by boat at Strachur Bay.
Parochial Economy. Means of Communication.— Steamers run between Glasgow and Inverary.
The Government road to Ardentinny affords daily intercourse, through the Lochgoil steamer, with the towns upon the Clyde; and the coach establishment between St Cathrine's and Lochgoilhead affords the opportunity of comfortable and speedy conveyance.
Fairs.—Two are held in Strachur for black cattle.
Inns.—Three.
1843.


Tiree and Coll
OSA Vol.10, page 393
Parish of Tiry (includes Coll)
Page 398 Although the Duke of Argyle gives his tenants free timber from his woods of Lochsunart, it is 60 or 70 miles away and requires a long and expensive journey.
Page 399 He describes a plain near the centre of the island, called the Reef. On one side it is bounded by Faothail, a small channel, that in heavy rain and high spring tides is difficult or impossible to cross as there is no bridge. There is some danger of the island being cut in two and a barrier has been erected to prevent this.

Page 401 Antiquities. Remains of watch towers on the coast which are visible from each other.
Page 405 Fuel.—Coll has plenty of peat but some of the farms are quite distant from it so that they would find coal cheaper. Tiree has some peat left at one end but very little at the other end so that the people there sometimes have to use horse dung, straw, or even “burning the roofs of their houses or some of their furniture.”
Page 412 Agriculture, &c.—“After a little amendment of the roads, with the money that is raised, or the services that may be exacted, there is no country better calculated for them.
Sea-ware carried in creels on horseback from the shore.
Page 414 “A country man, who died last year about five feet 10 inches high, was employed by the laird of Coll as post to Glasgow or Edinburgh. His ordinary burden thence to Coll was 16 stone. Being once stopt at a toll near Dumbarton, he humorously asked whether he should pay for a burden, and upon being answered in the negative, carried his horse in his arms past the toll.

Page 416 Ferries.—There is a stated ferry between Tiree and Coll which is often dangerous because of heavy seas and currents. Also dangerous is the stated ferry between Coll and Mull, which crosses 8 or 12 miles of sea to the landing places on Mull. There is no stated ferry from Tiree to Mull. A packet to Mull is much needed, and it could be that when the Crinan canal is opened some will find it in their interest to keep a packet in view of the growth in trade in coal, marble, fish, potatoes etc that will result.
Page 417 Advantages and Disadvantages.—Among measures that are needed are a ready access to salt, improved harbours, removal of the tax on coal (now removed), markets, and improved communication with towns.

NSA, 195
Page 196 Tiree. Topographical Appearances.—In the middle of the island there is a low-lying area called Reef that was probably once covered by the sea. On its east side there is an inlet “called the ford, or in Gaelic "foadhail."“ A stream runs into this inlet and forms the boundary between the east and west sides of the island. As spring-tides often make it impossible to cross at the ford, a small bridge has been built half a mile inland.

Page 202 At Bailephetrish a marble quarry was worked between 1791 and 1794. Heavy blocks were taken by boat round to the harbour, lighter ones overland. Transport proved uneconomical however and the quarry was closed.

Page 205 There are 14 or 15 duns or old forts which are thought to be Danish and were used as watch-towers. They are generally near the coast and are circular.

Page 217 Parochial Economy.
The nearest market town is Oban but it is 56 miles distant. There is a small village in Coll, Arinangour.

Means of Communication.—Tiree and Coll have post-offices served from Tobermory but with no packet, deliveries are very irregular.
The harbours, which are important to islands, are indifferent. On Tiree, Scarinish is the most used for the shipping of cattle and produce. There is another at Accarsaid and a pier has recently been built at Heinish. Coll has a harbour at Arinagour.
As to roads we are fortunate to have some fine beaches on which horses and carts can easily travel, as some of the roads are extremely bad, including the important one between the harbour and the mill which can be sometimes be impassable in winter. The road making could only progress if it was supervised properly.
There are three markets on both islands for black cattle.
Inns, Etc.—Two inns on Tiree and one in Coll, with some tippling houses, one or two of which are near the Light-house work.
Fuel.— As peat is nearly exhausted on Tiree it has to be brought from Mull or Coll at great expense. Coll is better provided with peat.
1840/1843


Torosay
OSA
Vol.3, page 265
Page 265 The name may derive from the Gaelic and mean “a mound or small hill, and ford, or a pass over water.”
The length of the parish from north to south is computed at about 12 miles by the shortest road; but along the coast the road forms a curve, and is much longer…

Page 267 Miscellaneous Observations. Wood for charcoal is sometimes sold to the Lorn Furnace Company.

Map of TorosayThere are ferries to Morven, Lismore, Nether Lorn and the main one in Mull from Achanacraig in Torosay to Kerrera, and then to Oban. At this ferry some 2000 black cattle as well as many horses are carried over to the mainland. This number includes cattle from Coll and Tiree which are driven across Mull. Cattle from this parish and Kilninian are also ferried to Morven. There is an annual market for horses held in Torosay.

From Achanacraig ferry, a road has recently been made to Aross in Kilninian parish, 20 miles distant. It has 5 bridges. There is also a bridge over the water of Ba.


NSA, 277
Page 278 Glenmore had no road until recently, despite being the main route for those living in Kilfinichen travelling to the rest of the country. A road, recently made at the expense of the proprietors and the county, runs through Glenmore up to the main road between Tobermory and Auchenacraig ferry. Those living in Kilfinichen parish now find it much easier to reach Torosay where the main fairs of Mull are held, and the ferry. This road may soon be extended to the Sound of Iona which may well suit many visitors to Iona rather than undergo a rough sea-voyage. It will also allow the island to be visited all year round as steamers can only make the journey in summer.
Page 292 Parochial Economy. The nearest market town is Oban, 10 miles away on the mainland.
Means of Communication.—There is a post-office at Auchenacriag with three deliveries weekly. There is a road from the ferry to Tobermory and the road to Kilfinichen; the bridges are good. In summer steamboats run nearly every day along the south coast landing goods and passengers as necessary. There are ferries to Morven, Nether Lorn, and Kerrera, this being the main way of reaching the mainland. Coll and Tiree cattle are still landed at the back of Mull and driven here for the journey to the mainland but many are now taken directly to the mainland.
Page 295 Fairs.—Three fairs are held on the farm of Fishnish, 11 miles from Auchenacraig Ferry.
Inns.—Four.
Fuel.—Mainly peat. Coal has been available from vessels passing through the Sound of Mull, but the price has now gone up.
Miscellaneous Observations. At the time of the last Statistical Account there were no carts; now all crofts have them.

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