Cumbray, Great

   CUMBRAY, GREAT, an island and parish, in the county of Bute, 2 miles (W.) from Largs; including the villages of Millport and Newton, and containing 1413 inhabitants. The name is derived from a Gaelic term signifying a bold or steep coast rising abruptly from the sea, and this description corresponds with the natural appearance of the island, which presents a steep and precipitous coast all round. The island is supposed formerly to have been in the possession of the Norwegians, concerning whose occupancy, however, no particulars are known. They are said to have been dispossessed of the property after many successive encounters with the Scots, by the decisive battle of Largs, when they were completely routed and driven from the coast. A cathedral once stood here, which was dedicated to St. Columba, but no remains of it are now visible. The island was formerly distributed into a number of small baronies, the owners of the principal of which were the families of Hunter, Stuart, and Montgomerie. The barony of Kames, belonging to the Hunters, has given the name to one of the finest bays in the island, and on this property, also, once stood the village of Kames, some vestiges of which may still be traced. The barony of Ballykellet, which appears to have been the most considerable of all, belonged to the Montgomeries, who possessed the patronage of the parish, and part of whose mansion-house was until lately standing, having in it a stone with the family arms sculptured.
   The island is of very irregular figure, extending about three and a half miles in length, from north-east to south-west, and about two miles in breadth: its circumference is ten miles, comprehending an area of 5120 acres. It is situated on the Frith of Clyde, and is separated from Little Cumbray, on the south, by a strait three-quarters of a mile in breadth; from Ayrshire, on the east, by Fairley Road, about one mile and a half broad; and from the isle of Bute, on the west, by a part of the Frith, which is about four miles wide. Numerous hills rise, with a gradual ascent, from the extremities of the island to its centre, and merge in one continuous range called the Shough-ends, which runs from north to south nearly throughout the whole length of the island, it attains an elevation of about 500 feet above the sea, and commands in every direction a beautiful view. The shores and bays abound with fish of various kinds, and oysters are found in some parts. A stream of inconsiderable dimensions, taking its rise from two small lochs which communicate with each other, in the highest part of the island, receives the waters of several springs, and at length becomes sufficiently large to form a mill-dam, which the people use for grinding their corn. The soil varies in different places. On the coast it is light and sandy, lying on rock or clay; on the higher grounds it is gravelly and thin, tending to moss, bedded on rock and covered with heath; in some of the valleys it is a deep rich loam, lying on clay, and producing good crops. About 3000 acres are arable; upwards of 1400 are waste, a considerable part of which, however, affords pasture for cattle; 30 acres are common, and 120 are planted. Grain and green crops of all kinds are produced; the cattle are of the pure Ayrshire breed. The rateable annual value of the parish is £1845.
   The rocks consist of several varieties of whinstone, of limestone, and sandstone. The limestone is not wrought, on account of the expense of fuel; but the sandstone, which is plentiful, is wrought to a considerable extent, quarries having been for some time open. There is a regular communication with the land by steam-boats, and the island is much resorted to by strangers. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Greenock and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; patron, Lord Glasgow. The stipend is £159, and there is a good manse, with a glebe of six acres, valued at £8. 10. per annum. The church, which was built in 1837, to meet the exigencies of a largely augmented population, is situated on rising ground, immediately behind the village of Millport; it is a commodious and elegant structure, ornamented with a handsome tower, and capable of accommodating 750 persons. A place of worship has been erected for Baptists; likewise a Free church. There is also a parochial school, where, in addition to the usual branches, Latin, mensuration, and navigation are taught; the master has the legal accommodations, and a salary of £30, with £15 from fees. A parochial library is supported.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Great Cumbray —    GREAT CUMBRAY. See Cumbray, Great.    And all places having a similar distinguishing prefix, will be found under the proper name …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Stevenston —    STEVENSTON, a market town and parish, in the district of Cunninghame, county of Ayr, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Irvine, and 14 (N. N. W.) from Ayr; containing 3791 inhabitants, of whom 1432 are in that portion of the town of Saltcoats which is… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Girvan —    GIRVAN, a busy sea port, market town, and parish, in the district of Carrick, county of Ayr, 29 miles (N. N. E.) from Stranraer, and 97 (S. W. by W.) from Edinburgh; containing 8000 inhabitants. Girvan is supposed to have derived its name from …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Kilbride, West —    KILBRIDE, WEST, a parish, in the district of Cunninghame, county of Ayr, 5½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Saltcoats; containing 1885 inhabitants. This place derives its name from the dedication of its church, which was anciently an appendage of the …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Millport —    MILLPORT, a village, in the parish of Great Cumbray, county of Bute; containing 817 inhabitants. This is a modern village, pleasantly situated in the south east corner of the island, and having a commodious harbour capable of admitting vessels …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Newton —    1) NEWTON, a village, in the parish of Great Cumbray, Isle and county of Bute; containing 444 inhabitants. It is seated at the head of a capacious and finelysheltered harbour, called Kames bay, where vessels of considerable burthen may have… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Buteshire —    BUTESHIRE, a county, on the western coast of Scotland, consisting of the isles of Bute, Arran, InchMarnock, and Great and Little Cumbray, in the Firth of Clyde; separated on the north from Argyllshire by the straits called the Kyles of Bute,… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Kingarth —    KINGARTH, a parish, in the county of Bute, 8 miles (S. by E.) from Rothesay; containing, with the villages of Kilchattan Bay, Kerrycroy, and Piperhall, 931 inhabitants. This parish takes its name from the promontory of Garroch Head, forming… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Fairley-Road — (spr. Fährlih Rohd), Meerenge (Theil des Clyd Busens des Irischen Meeres) zwischen der Insel Great Cumbray u. der Grafschaft Air (südliche Westküste von Schottland) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Bute [1] — Bute (Bjuht), schott. Insel zu der gleichnamigen Grafschaft gehörig. an der Südküste von Cowal, 15 engl. Meil. lang, 3 breit. mit 9900 E., im Norden gebirgig und rauh, im Süden eine niedrige Sandfläche, doch fruchtbar und angebaut, mit Trümmern… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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