Glenorchy and Inishail

   GLENORCHY and INISHAIL, a parish, in the districts of Lorn and Argyll, county of Argyll, 14 miles (N. by E.) from Inverary; containing 1644 inhabitants, of whom 247 are in that portion of the parish which was till lately annexed, quoad sacra, to Strathfillan church. These two ancient parishes, which were united in the year 1618, derive their names from the situation of their respective churches, the former in a picturesque glen watered by the river Orchy, and the latter on the beautiful island of Inishail, in Loch Awe. The lordship of Glenorchy was granted in the fifteenth century, by James II., to an ancestor of the Breadalbane family, whose descendant, the marquess, is the present proprietor; the lands of Inishail are divided among several owners, of whom Mr. Campbell, of Monzie, is the principal. The Parish, which is partly bounded on the west by Loch Etive, is twenty-four miles in length, varying from five to twenty miles in breadth, and comprises an area of nearly 300 square miles. The surface, with the exception of the vale of Glenorchy and the district of Inishail, is hilly and mountainous, abounding in boldly romantic scenery. Of the mountainous ranges, the most conspicuous is that of Cruachan, on the north and north-eastern boundary, separating the parish from those of Ardchattan and Appin, and in which are the heights of Beinabhuiridh, Stob-an-Daimh, Beinmacmonaidh, and Beindourain. The range extending from the western to the eastern extremity of Loch Awe, along the south side of the vale of the Orchy, terminates at the bases of the mountains Tighearnan and Beinachleidh, near Beinlaoidh, the highest mountain in the parish. These ranges are in several places broken by intervening glens, through which run the rivers Orchy and Awe, which in their course form some pleasing cataracts, flowing between banks densely wooded and marked with features of strikingly romantic character. Both rivers abound with salmon and trout, and are much frequented by anglers. The chief lakes are Loch Awe and Lochtolla, which contain salmon, trout of large size, eels, char, perch, and pike, the last of recent introduction. Of the former lake, only the eastern extremity is in this parish; but, from the beauty of the scenery on its shores, it forms a very interesting feature. Lochtolla, which is situated among the hills of Glenorchy, is about four miles in length, and a mile in average breadth: on the north bank is a picturesque shooting-lodge belonging to the Marquess of Breadalbane, surrounded with thriving plantations. There are also several smaller lakes in the parish.
   The soil on the banks of the rivers is a mixture of light earth and sand, and on the sides of Loch Awe a deep and rich loam resting on a gravelly subsoil; the crops are, oats, barley, bear, potatoes, and turnips. The system of husbandry has made considerable progress; the farm-houses are generally substantial and well built; but the offices are of rather inferior order, and the lands only partially inclosed. Embankments have been raised on the Orchy, and the channel of the river Awe deepened. The upland portion of the parish is purely pastoral, and great numbers of sheep and black cattle are reared on the hills. The sheep are, with the exception of a few of the Cheviot and Leicestershire, all of the black-faced breed; and the cattle of the pure Argyllshire breed, except some Ayrshire cows on the dairy-farms. The sheep and cattle are sent principally to Falkirk and Dumbarton, and the wool to Liverpool. Though comparatively little remains of the ancient woods with which the parish formerly abounded, the lands are still far from being destitute of timber, and various modern plantations have been formed, which are in a thriving state, and add much to the beauty of the scenery. The prevailing rocks are mica-slate and gneiss, with granite and porphyry; and the substrata chiefly clay-slate, whinstone, and limestone, much mixed with mica and quartz. The rateable annual value of the parish is £8886.
   Among the seats is Inishdrynich House, a handsome mansion beautifully situated on the north side of Loch Awe, in a demesne richly wooded, and laid out with great taste. New Inverawe, about a mile from Inishdrynich, and also on the banks of the loch, is a modern mansion, surrounded with plantations; and Rockhill is likewise a pleasant residence, on Loch Awe, of which it commands an extensive and interesting view. There is no village of any importance. At Dalmally is a posting inn, affording every accommodation; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads which have been formed in various parts of the parish, and are kept in excellent order. Fairs are held on the third Wednesday in March, and the fourth Tuesday in November. The Ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Lorn and synod of Argyll; patrons, the Duke of Argyll and the Marquess of Breadalbane. The minister's stipend is £206, with a manse, a glebe valued at £22 per annum, and the privilege of depasturing; eight cows on four farms in the neighbourhood, which is equivalent to £10 more. The church of Glenorchy, erected in 1811, is a handsome structure in the later English style of architecture; it is beautifully situated on an islet formed by the windings of the river Orchy, and contains 500 sittings, all of which are free. The church of Inishail, formerly on an island of that name in Loch Awe, but rebuilt on the shore of the lake, is a plain structure containing 250 sittings. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. Two parochial schools are supported in Inishail, the masters of which have each a salary of £25. 13., and fees averaging £5 per annum: there is also a parochial school at Glenorchy, of which the master has a salary of £34, with fees amounting to £20, and a house and garden. The parochial library contains about 300 volumes.
   There are some remains of ancient castles, among which are those of Fraocheilein, situated on a rock in Loch Awe, and erected in the reign of Alexander III. by the chief of the clan Mac Naughton. The castle of Caolchurn, at the eastern extremity of the lake, was for many centuries the stronghold of the Breadalbane family; the great tower or keep was built by the lady of Sir Colin Campbell, ancestor of the family, during his absence in the Holy Land, in 1440. This castle, after the removal of the owners to their seat at Taymouth, fell into decay, which was greatly accelerated by the appropriation of the materials to the building of farm-houses in the parish. There are slight remains, also, of the castles of Achallader, Duchoille, and others. On the island of Inishail are the ruins of a convent for nuns of the Cistercian order, of which the chapel was, after the Reformation, used as the parish church of Inishail, till the erection of the present structure in 1736. Upon a small islet in the lake, called the Priest's Isle, are the remains of the house of the priest of Inishail, surrounded with a wall of dry stones; and from the south shore of the lake, may be traced some huge blocks of stone intended for the foundation of a bridge, and still called the Druid's Bridge. On opening a cairn on the farm of Stronmilchan, a few years since, was found a stone coffin containing an urn. The Rev. Dr. John Smith, the translator of the Bible into the Gaelic language, and Duncan Mc Intyre, an eminent Highland bard, were natives of the parish. The place gives the title of Viscount Glenorchy to the Marquess of Breadalbane.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Inishail —    INISHAIL, county of Argyll.    See Glenorchy and Inishail …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Inishail — is an island, and former parish,Wilson, Rev. John The Gazetteer of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1882) Published by W. A.K. Johnstone] in Loch Awe, Scotland.It is between Cladich and Kilchurn, and contains an interesting ancient cemetery and remains of an …   Wikipedia

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