Kilcalmonell and Kilberry

   KILCALMONELL and KILBERRY, a parish, in the county of Argyll; containing, with the village of Tarbert, 3325 inhabitants. The former of these two ancient parishes, now united, derives its name from the Gaelic term signifying "the burial-place of Malcolm O'Neill." The word Kilberry is by some traced to the compound term Cill-a-Mhairi, "the burial-place of Mary." The district of Kilcalmonell is situated at the northern extremity of the peninsula of Cantyre; it stretches to Loch Fine on the north-east, and is bounded on the north-west, nearly throughout its whole length, by West Loch Tarbert and the Atlantic Ocean: it is about sixteen miles long, and two and a half or three broad. Kilberry approaches, in figure, to an equilateral triangle, each side measuring eight miles, and is situated in the district of Knapdale; it is separated from Kilcalmonell by West Loch Tarbert, and bounded by the sea or the loch on all sides, except the north-east. The surface of Kilcalmonell is irregular and varied, rising in some parts with a gentle acclivity, and in others much more abruptly, and terminating in a hilly range on the south-east, about 1500 feet high; it is diversified occasionally by low valleys, 100 or 150 feet above the level of the sea. The coast of this part of the parish is sandy, and altogether uniform and uninteresting, except in the vicinity of Loch Tarbert, where birch, alder, and other trees, displaying a wild profusion of foliage, relieve the tameness of the scenery. In the Kilberry district is a ridge of lofty hills running from west to east, and increasing in elevation, in a gradual manner, till it reaches Sliobhghoil. One of the two bases of this height spreads itself out into a large tract of sterile moorland, while the other affords a striking contrast in the superiority of its soil, and its eligibility for agricultural operations. The shore presented to the Atlantic is bold. The only bay of consequence in the parish is Stornoway, near which is the headland of Ardpatrick, the landing-place, according to tradition, of St. Patrick, on his way from Ireland to Icolmkill. West Loch Tarbert, which divides the two parochial districts, is a branch of the Atlantic, nine miles long and one broad: at the northern extremity stands the populous fishing-town of Tarbert, where a narrow isthmus, separating East Loch Tarbert from West Loch Tarbert, makes Cantyre a peninsula. There are several fresh-water lochs; but they are small and unimportant, and contribute little to the improvement of the generally unattractive scenery.
   A few of the farms are well cultivated: potatoes constitute the principal crop, and a large quantity of them is sent annually to the English and Irish markets. The tenants mostly hold their lands at will, and but little improvement in husbandry has taken place; but there are some exceptions, especially on the farm of Crear, in Kilberry, where the land has been brought into good cultivation, and received much embellishment. Limestone occurs in several places; but it lies in thin beds, and is not much used. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7563. The principal mansions are, Stonefield, situated in Kilcalmonell; Dunmore and Ardpatrick Castles, in Kilberry; and an elegant castellated edifice lately erected near Tarbert. The village of Tarbert, which is separately described, is supposed to have been anciently the county-town of Argyll; it is now chiefly famed for its harbour, and for the herringfishery in which its inhabitants are actively and successfully engaged. It has a general post-office, communicating by steam daily with Glasgow; and a road runs through Kilcalmonell to Campbelltown, by which letters are forwarded to the latter place. The produce of the parish is sent for sale, partly to Campbelltown, but chiefly, especially the potatoes, to Ireland and England. A fair, principally for horses, is held at Tarbert in the beginning of August. The parish is in the presbytery of Cantyre and synod of Argyll, and in the patronage of the Duke of Argyll. The minister's stipend is £218, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £17. 10. per annum. The church of Kilcalmonell was built about the year 1760; that of Kilberry in 1821: the former contains 600 sittings, and the latter 700, all free. A chapel is supported at Tarbert by Royal Bounty; and the Independents have a place of worship. There are two parochial schools, affording instruction in the ordinary branches; the masters each receive a salary of £25 per annum, with the fees. The parish contains the forts of Dunskeig, forming part of a chain of strongholds built along the coast of Cantyre; they are very ancient, lofty, and strong, and command extensive views. The castle of Tarbert, now in ruins, was, formerly, also a place of great strength; and there was once a large vitrified fort in the parish, the remains of which are still to be seen.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kilberry —    KILBERRY, Argyllshire.    See Kilcalmonell and Kilberry …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

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