Arrochar

   ARROCHAR, a parish, in the county of Dumbarton, 22 miles (N. N. W.) from Dumbarton, and 22 (E. S. E.) from Inverary; containing 580 inhabitants. The name of this place, which, at different times, has been variously spelt, is derived from a Gaelic term signifying "high," or "hilly," in reference to the nature of the ground. The parish is remarkable for the magnificence of its scenery, and is much resorted to by tourists on account of the peculiar and numerous attractions which it presents, as well as from the excellence of the inns, the good order of the roads, and other advantages. It was disjoined from the parish of Luss in 1658; it is about 15 miles long, and 3 broad, and contains 31,000 acres, including two farms named Ardleish and Doune, which lie on the east side of Loch Lomond, and occupy the north-eastern extremity of the parish, almost separated from the main portion by the lake. The parish is bounded on the north by the parish of Strathfillan, in Perthshire; on the south, by the water of Douglas, and part of Luss; on the east, by Loch Lomond; and on the west, by Loch Long, and part of Argyllshire. The Surface is altogether hilly and mountainous, and has a line of coast bounding Loch Lomond, of about 14 miles, and a coast of three miles extending along Loch Long; on the Lomond side, the shore is flat and sandy, and diversified by numerous bays and headlands. The mountain of Ben-Vorlich, clothed with rich pasture, is the most elevated in the parish, rising 3000 feet above the sea; and this spot is frequented by white hares, ptarmigan, and various wild fowls. There are some beautiful cascades, and four rivers, none of which are of large extent; viz., the Falloch, the Inveruglass, the Douglas, and the Linnhe, the three first of which run into Loch Lomond, and the last into Loch Long. Loch Lomond, which is 24 miles long, in some parts 7 broad, and varies in depth from 60 to 100 fathoms, abounds with bold and romantic scenery, and is considered the finest sheet of water throughout the country; it contains salmon, trout, pike, perch, eels, and powans, generally called fresh-water herrings. Loch Long is about 21 miles in length, and 1½ or 2 in breadth, and its depth is from 10 to 20 fathoms; the fish found in it are, halibut, soles, flounders, whitings, skate, lythe, sethe, cod, salmon, trout, herrings, &c. Its banks, in some parts, exhibit fine picturesque breaks, especially at the opening of Loch Goil, and towards its head, the scenery is equal to any part of Lomond. The Soil, except in some districts, is thin and poor, and only about 300 or 400 acres are arable; a considerable number of acres are under wood, and on the shores of Loch Lomond, are large plantations of oak, which are annually thinned; the remaining land consists of indifferent pasture. The sheep are the black-faced, and the cattle comprise both the native breed and those introduced from Argyllshire; some waste, to the extent of about 50 acres, has been reclaimed within these few years, but the inclosures and farm-buildings generally are in an indifferent state. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3096. The rocks consist, for the most part, of mica slate; in some parts, are traces of iron-ore, and there are two whinstone quarries near the whinstone dyke between Lochs Lomond and Long.
   The parish contains two small villages, in addition to which, within the last few years, a considerable number of houses have been erected, for sea-bathing visiters; and among the inns is one which ranks as one of the most commodious and excellent in Scotland, and which was, before being converted to its present use, the mansion of the chief of the Macfarlane clan. During the summer months, a coach runs daily from Inverary to Tarbet, in the morning, and returns in the afternoon; and vehicles of every description may be obtained at the inns of Tarbet and Arrochar, whither visiters come from all parts, to view the scenery in the neighbourhood of the lakes. Steam-boats run on Lochs Lomond and Long, from May till October; another plies between Arrochar and Glasgow; and ships with coal and lime from Glasgow and Ireland, frequently come to the head of Loch Long, whence, also, wool is often sent to the market at Liverpool. A herring-fishery is carried on in Loch Long, with considerable profit, during the months of June and July, the boats employed advancing successively to Loch Fine and the neighbourhood of Campbelltown, where they fish to the end of the season; each boat contains about three men, and produces, in the season, from £30 to £60. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the patronage belongs to Sir James Colquhoun, Bart., and the minister's stipend is £241, with a glebe worth £13 a year, and a manse, erected in 1837. The church, situated in a corner of the parish, was built in 1733, and is in indifferent repair, and of insufficient size, containing only 300 sittings. A place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church. There is a parochial school, in which the ordinary branches of education are taught, and of which the master has the maximum salary of £34. 4., with £8 fees, and a house; and another school, privately endowed, affords instruction in the classics, mathematics, and the other usual subjects, by a master who receives £25 from the resident proprietor of land, and about £15 or £20 fees.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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