LOCHGILPHEAD, a village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, partly in the parish of South Knapdale, but chiefly in that of Kilmichael-Glassary, district and county of Argyll, 24 miles (S. W.) from Inverary; containing 2748 inhabitants, of whom 2072 are in Kilmichael-Glassary. This place derives its name from its situation at the head of Loch Gilp, a branch of Loch Fine; and at the end of the eighteenth century comprised only a few fishermen's huts, since which time it has rapidly increased in extent and importance. The present village consists of several well-formed streets of substantial houses, of handsome appearance; and is paved, and partially supplied with water conveyed by leaden pipes to the houses. The scenery is richly diversified, and abounds with interesting and romantic features; and in the vicinity are some good seats, of which the demesnes are tastefully laid out, and embellished with plantations. The inhabitants are principally employed in the herring-fishery, which is carried on to a very considerable extent; cod, ling, and other whitefish are also taken here in abundance. About 40 boats are engaged in the herring-fishery, each having a crew of three men; and more than 100 persons are occupied in preparing, curing, and packing: the herring-fishery commences in June, and continues till December. The harbour of Lochgilphead affords good anchorage, but little shelter from the south winds; and the small bays of Silvercraigs give protection to the boats employed in the fishery. The principal port, however, is Ardrissaig, in the parish of South Knapdale, about two miles to the south of Lochgilphead, at the extremity of the Crinan canal, and where an excellent pier, on which is a light-house, has been constructed. The canal affords a direct communication between Loch Fine and the Western Ocean, avoiding the circuitous and dangerous navigation round the Mull of Cantyre. This important work was commenced in 1793, and completed in 1801, at a cost of £180,000; it is nine miles in length, and ten feet in depth, admitting vessels of 160 tons' burthen, and has thirteen locks varying from ninety-six to 108 feet in length, and from twenty-four to twenty-seven in breadth.
   From its situation on the high road from Inverary to Campbelltown, the village derives a considerable degree of inland trade. A distillery has been established, in which on an average 76,000 gallons of whisky are annually produced; and on the confines of the district, bordering upon Inverary, a mill has been erected for the manufacture of gunpowder. In front of the principal street, an area has been inclosed for the cattle-markets and fairs that are held annually in the village, and for the prize shows for cattle and sheep and the most approved specimens of husbandry, which take place towards the end of September. The post-office has a daily delivery from Inverary, Glasgow, and Campbelltown, and a delivery three times in the week from Kilmartin; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads and bridges, kept in excellent repair, and by the steamers that frequent Loch Fine and the canal. The parish of Lochgilphead was about five miles in length and three miles in breadth, comprising an area of 9500 acres, of which the far greater portion is hilly moorland, affording only pasturage for sheep and cattle. The internal economy is in every respect similar to that of the parish of Kilmichael-Glassary. The principal mansions are, Kilmory; Achindarrock, a modern residence beautifully situated on an eminence overlooking the Crinan canal; and Achnaba. The district was erected into a quoad sacra parish by act of the General Assembly: the church, built at a cost of £750, by parliamentary grant, in 1828, and enlarged by the addition of galleries in 1834, is a neat plain structure containing 506 sittings. The minister has a stipend of £120, paid from the exchequer, to which £30 are added by voluntary contribution of the heritors, with a manse, and a small glebe; patron, the Crown. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, Baptists, Independents, and members of the Congregational Union; also a female school in the village, under the patronage of the Orde family, baronets of Morpeth, in the county of Northumberland.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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