Mission Statement

To Submit Content

Excerpts from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland
by Samuel Lewis

(Note: The following places which are included have Lochaber connections)



A parish, partly in the county of Argyll, and partly in the county of Inverness; comprising the quoad sacra districts of Aharacle and Strontian, and containing 5581 inhabitants.  The present parish of Ardnamurchan, previously to the Reformation, formed three separate parishes, comprehending the five districts of Ardnamurchan, Sunard or Sunart, Moidart, Arasaig, and South Morir.  These districts still remain as distinct portions, and from the first the parish takes its name, signifying "the promontory" or "heights of the great sea."  This term was originally applied with great propriety, the district of Ardnamurchan being nearly a peninsular promontory, extending from the mainland, to a considerable extent, into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.  The districts of Ardnamurchan and Sunart are in the county of Argyll, and the other three districts in Inverness-shire; the whole being supposed to comprise more than 250,000 acres, of which upwards of 110,000 are in the Argyllshire portion.  The parish is bounded on the south by Loch Sunart, separating it from the parish of Morvern; on the south-west, by the northern end of the Sound of Mull; on the north, by Loch Morir and the river flowing thence, which separate it from North Morir, in the parish of Glenelg; and on the north-west and west, by that part of the Atlantic Ocean which reached to the opposite shores of Skye and the Small Isles.  On the east it is bounded by the parish of Kilmalie.  The coast, which is continuously, and remarkably, indented with creeks and bays forming numerous points and headlands, is supposed to embrace a line of several hundreds of miles, and exhibits a bold and rocky appearance.  At some seasons, the foaming surges of the neighbouring waters are to be seen driven landward by the westerly winds, and occasionally rendering inaccessible the several creeks and landing-places.  The headland of Ardnamurchan, which is the most western part of the mainland of Great Britain, and the most prominent point on the line of coast between Cape Wrath and the Mull of Cantyre, was formerly used as a geographical mark, in respect to which the Western Isles were denominated north or south.  At a creek on its extreme point, the picture of dreariness and desolation, a few green mounds indicate the place where the mutilated bodies of shipwrecked seamen rest below, vessels having not unfrequently been dashed to pieces on the adjoining rocks.  There has been a lighthouse recently built on this point.  The whole coast surrounding the district of Ardnamurchan is a series of indentations and projecting rocks.  Beyond this, which is the southern part of the parish, the line of coast runs along the Moidart district on the west and north, and then forms the western limit of Arasaig and South Morir, marked with many rocky points and headlands, of which the point of Arasaig, the promontory next in importance to Ardnamurchan, is well known to mariners, and is visited by steamers plying from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye.  The coast here is very rugged, but not abrupt or precipitous. It has numerous shelving rocks, extending under water to the northern boundary of the parish.

A deep and wide bay is formed by the line of shore stretching in an eastern direction from the point of Ardnamurchan to the isthmus of that district, then northward, and afterwards round to the west, reaching to the point of Arasaig.  In the south-eastern part of this great bay, at the flexure of the coast of Ardnamurchan towards Moidart, are the fine sands of Kintra, measuring about two square miles in extent, of nearly circular form, and covered at high water by the sea, which enters by a small inlet.  The principal harbours along the coast of the parish are, the bay of Glenmore, on the south of Ardnamurchan, in the mouth of Loch Sunary, affording excellent anchorage; that of Kilchoan, a small harbour on the same coast, forming the chief point of communication with Tobermory; and, on the north coast of Ardnamurchan, at Ardtoe, a small bay where inferior craft may find a safe retreat.  At the island of Shona, north of Kintra bay, also, in the opening of Loch Moidart, are several creeks with good anchorage, the resort of boats from the southern highlands, in the season for cod fishing; and in Loch Sunart are the harbour of Strontian, and the creek of Salin, at which latter a pier has been built.  Of the several maritime lochs in or bounding the parish, some are of considerable extent, and form a distinct feature in the general scenery of the coast.  Loch Sunart branches off from the Sound of Mull, where it is about six miles in breadth, and extends inland for about twenty-five miles.  The tide runs with much impetuosity through the channels formed by the islands of Carna, Resga, and Oransay, six or seven miles from the mouth; but further inland the water lies quietly, with the exception of the ebb and flow of tbe tides, between lofty rocks and precipitous banks overgrown with wood, which at many points present most picturesque scenery.  Loch Moidart is about four miles long, from east to west, and communicates with the open sea by means of a narrow channel on each side of the island of Shona.  Being surrounded with steep and lofty mountains, it is usually unruffled; and its scenery embraces all the striking features of a Highland district.  The remaining salt-water lochs are Loch-nan-Uamh, situated between Moidart and Arasaig; Loch Ainart, a branch of the former; and Loch-na-Keaull, just north of Arasaig point; all of comparatively small extent. In different parts of the coast there are caves, some of them very extensive, but none of much note: in one at Baradale, in Arasaig, a damp, rough, dark excavation, Prince Charles Stuart concealed himself for three days, after his defeat at Culloden.

The Interior of the parish, consisting of land of very rugged character, is crowded with the features, variously combined, of almost every description of wild and romantic scenery, comprising lofty mountain ranges, precipitous rocky elevations, thickly-wooded hills, dells, and ravines, with numberless inland lochs, and several rivers.  The Ardnamurchan portion is strongly marked by a range of hills, of no great elevation, running from the western point for about twenty-four miles towards the east, and varying from four miles and a half to seven in breadth.  Near the coast are many farms under good cultivation, within the first ten or twelve miles; but afterwards the pasture becomes coarser.  Oak, birch, and hazel are to be seen covering the rocks, and the lower hills on the south, to Loch Sunart; while, on the north, the district is occupied at its eastern extremity by a very extensive moss, girt by the river Shiel.  This stream flows from Loch Shiel, and falls into the western ocean, forming one of the two principal streams in the parish, the other of which flows from Loch Morir into the western sea, and constitutes part of the northern boundary of the parish.  The Sunard or Sunart district in some ancient records written Swynefort or Swyniford, is supposed to have derived its appellation from the circumstance of a king of Denmark named Swin, who was driven from his own country for apostatizing from Christianity, having in the tenth century landed in a creek here on the western shore, called Swineard in consequence of that event.  This tract is a continuation of that of Ardnamurchan, and is about twenty-five miles long and ten in average breadth.  For several miles from its commencement, it has the appearance of a mountain ridge.  After this the eminences expand, reaching to Loch Sunart on the south and Loch Shiel on the north and north-west, leaving a large intermediate space occupied with lofty hill, and deep valleys and glens, thrown together in apparently the greatest irregularity and confusion.  The most lofty mountains are Ben-Reisipoll, Scur-Dhoniel, Scour-Choinich, Creach-Bhunn, and Glaschoirein Hill, reaching respectively 2661 feet, 2730 feet, 2364 feet, 2439 feet, and 1920 feet in height.  The district contains two extensive and interesting valleys, of which that of Strontian, near its eastern extremity, opening at Loch Sunart, stretches for about five miles inland.  It is ornamented in succession from its entrance with clusters of fine natural oak, flourishing plantations surrounding a tasteful mansion with well laid out grounds, an excellent and well-cultivated farm, with the crofts and tenements of numerous cottagers, the government church near the stream that runs through the valley, and, further on, the beautifully-situated manse.  Glenaheurich, a few miles north of the former valley, contains a spacious lake, and affords excellent pasturage for sheep.  Besides these there are other glens of inferior dimensions, bounded with picturesque hills displaying a profusion of verdure and ornamental wood.  The district of Moidart takes its name from a compound Gaelic term signifying " the height of sea-spray."   It extends about ten or twelve miles in breadth; and twenty-five in length, in a direction parallel with Sunart, along the whole boundary of Loch Shiel.  It is bounded on the west and north by the sea; and the continuous range of mountains along the coast on each side, incloses an intermediate and lofty ridge, exhibiting a summit with a most magnificent assemblage of crags, rocks, hills, and ravines, rendered more interesting to the curious observer by the almost impossible attempt to find their parallel.  There are, however, some tolerably fertile plains in this interesting district of the parish; and a valley called Glenaladale, about three hundred yards broad, containing fair arable and pasture land.  The districts of Arasaig and South Morir, not separated from each other by any marked natural features, constitute together a tract twenty-four miles in length, and fifteen broad.  A long and very dreary valley named Glenmeuble stretches along Arasaig for ten miles, with a farm at the eastern end, and a small loch called Beoraig, not very far off.  South Morir is bounded on the north by Loch Morir, and the river that flows from the loch into the sea.

The parish contains numerous fresh-water lakes, many of which abound with varieties of excellent trout. The principal of them is Loch Shiel, which here separates the county of Argyll from that of Inverness, and is embosomed amid mountains of the most magnificent description, very little known to travellers. Near the western extremity of this lake is the beautiful green island of Finnan, truly an oasis in the bleak wilderness, where the remains of an ancient monastery are still very distinct, and where the bell that used to summon the inmates to matins and vespers is yet to be seen.  Loch Shiel empties itself by the river Shiel into the western sea; and so trifling is the fall in the course of this stream that, during high tides, boats of six or seven tons' burthen can ascend it, and are often seen spreading their sails at the eastern extremity of the lake, twenty-seven or twenty-eight miles from the sea.  An important salmon-fishery is carried on at the river Shiel, one of the most important indeed in the north of Scotland, paying a large rental.  The fish caught here are of a superior quality, and are exported in great quantities to the India and other distant markets, being prepared for exportation in a large curing establishment lately built on the river-side.

The soil is various, but generally light and shallow.  Only a small portion of it is fit for superior husbandry; the remainder is moor and moss, of which latter there are several large tracts styled moss-flats, especially adjacent to Loch Shiel.  That called the Moss of Kintra covers an area of seven square miles, and, like some of the others, is a quagmire in the middle, of unknown depth, though considerable portions near the margin are capable of improvement.  Oats and bear are raised; but potatoes, hay, wool, and the cuttings of wood, form the largest items in the returns of produce.  The sheep that are kept are the black-faced; and the cattle, the Argyllshire: both the sheep and the cattle are generally of a superior description, the pasture in many parts being admirably adapted for them.  The method of cultivation varies according to the nature of the soil, and the locality; ploughs and spades of all kinds are in common use, and shell-sand mixed with kelp, and various deposits from the sea-shore, are extensively employed as manure.  Considerable improvements have been made on some of the estates within these few years, and the farm-buildings of the superior tenants are good, whilst those of the inferior class are of the worst description.  There are several farms tilled according to the most improved system of agriculture.  The extent of arable land in the Ardnamurchan and Sunart districts is upwards of 5000 acres, about half turned by the plough, and half by the spade; and it is supposed that the quantity throughout the parish might be doubled with a profitable application of capital, there being in these two districts alone about 13,000 acres of pasture, more than 3000 of moss, and upwards of 80,000 of moor, much of which is capable of tillage.  An agricultural association, principally connected with Ardnamurchan and Sunart, and some neighbouring places, meets annually at Strontian; under the auspices of which great improvement has taken place in the breed of horses, black-cattle, and sheep.  The annual value of real property in the parish is £6894. The geological structure of the parish is of great interest, presenting one of the most inviting fields in Scotland to the student of geology.  The natural wood is of considerable extent, including much oak, valuable for its bark and timber, birch, hazel, alder, and ash: the plantations in the parish comprise fir, plane, oak, and ash trees.  There are various mansion-houses of proprietors, generally plain comfortable buildings suited to the climate, and those more recently erected shewing a due regard to ornament.  The population is rural, and scattered through the different districts.  Some of the inhabitants are engaged in salmon-fishing on the river Shiel, and others in taking herrings on some of the lochs.  Indeed the whole sea-coast abounds with a variety of fish, especially cod, ling, sethe, lythe, gurnet, flounder; while lobsters, oysters, and the smaller kinds of shellfish, are also plentiful; though the apathy and ignorance of the people prevent their availing themselves to any great extent of this bountiful provision made for their wants.  Two decked-vessels belong to the place, one of fifty and the other of twenty tons.  An extensive manufactory of bobbins for thread is carried on at Salen, on Loch Sunart; the machinery is very ingenious, and moved by immense power, the water-wheel being forty feet in diameter.  There is a post-office at Strontian, with a daily post; also one at Arasaig, with a delivery three times a week; and a third at Kilchoan, communicating with Strontian by a messenger twice a week.  A road runs from Arasaig, by Glenfinnan, to Fort-William and the Caledonian canal, and another from Strontian to Corran Ferry, by each of which cattle and sheep are driven to the southern markets.  The principal communication, however, is by steam-vessels from Glasgow, which touch at the point of Arasaig, and at Tobermory, a sea-port in the northern extremity of the island of Mull, about five miles south from the harbour of Kilchoan, in Ardnamurchan.  A fair is held at Strontian in May, and another in October, for cattle and sheep: there is also a cattle and sheep fair at Arasaig.  The parish is ecclesiastically in the presbytery of Mull, synod of Argyll, and for pastoral purposes is distributed into five portions, namely, the parish church district, two quoad sacra parishes, a district under the care of a missionary, and another under that of an assistant.  The first of these embraces the western portion of the peninsula of Ardnamurchan, and contains a place of worship at Kilchoan, on the south, four or five miles from the point, and one at Kilmorie, on the northern coast, at which the minister officiates alternately.  Kilchoan church, which, on account of its situation, commands the larger attendance, is a very superior edifice, built in 1831, and accommodating more than 600 persons; that of Kilmorie, raised by a former incumbent, is a very humble structure, originally built of dry stone, and thatched.  The minister has a stipend of about £270, subject to a deduction to the assistant; with a manse, and a glebe of twenty-seven acres, valued at £1 0 or £12 per annum: patron, the Duke of Argyll.  The quoad sacra church at Strontian is thirty miles distant from the parish church; that at Aharacle is situated at the west end of Loch Shiel, twenty-three miles distant.  The mission of Laga comprehends about eleven miles of the coast of Loch Sunart, partly in the parish church district, and partly in that of Aharacle; the minister receives £60 per annum from the Royal Bounty, and has built a preaching-house at his own expense.  The district of the assistant is by far the largest ecclesiastical division, embracing the principal part of Moidart, and the whole of Arasaig and South Morir.  It has a small preaching-house, built partly by subscription, at Polnish, near Inveraylort, and a school-house at Ardnafuaran, in Arasaig.  The assistant receives from the parish minister £55.11.1., and £32 from the Royal Bounty, with £5 for communion elements.  There are five Roman Catholic chapels in the parish, with two officiating priests.  The parochial school, situated at Kilchoan, affords the ordinary instruction; the master has a salary of £25.13.3., and £10 fees, with a house, garden, and two acres of land, the whole valued at £7.  There are two schools attached to the quoad sacra parishes of Aharacle and Strontian, erected by Sir J. M. Riddell, Bart., and endowed by government; while in other parts of the parish are schools supported by various religious societies.  The chief relic of antiquity is the castle of Mingary, on the southern shore of Ardnamurchan, once the stronghold of Mac Ian, from which James IV. in 1493 granted a charter, and where, two years afterwards, he held his court to receive the submission of the nobles of the forfeited lordship of the Isles.  The parish contains several vitrified forts.  On the plain of Glenfinnan is a tower erected in commemoration of the events of 1745, by Alexander Mc Donald of Glenaladale, with an inscription by Dr. Donald Mc Lean, the successor to the property, Angus Mc Donald, Esq., has lately much improved the tower, and crowned it with a statue of Prince Charles Stuart.



A quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Kilmalie, partly in the district and county of Argyll, and partly in the county of Inverness, 11 miles (s. by w.) from Fort-William; containing 1235 inhabitants.  The village of Ballichulish, or North Ballichulish, consisting of about forty families, stands on the Lochaber or Inverness-shire side of Loch Leven, near its junction with Loch Linnhe, where is a ferry between the opposite coasts of Lochaber and Appin, a distance of three miles below South Ballichulish, a large village in the Argyllshire parish of Lismore and Appin.  On each side of this ferry across Loch Leven is an inn, the prospect from which is of the most imposing character, embracing mountains of towering height and rugged grandeur, relieved by water, woods, and pastures, and other interesting features.  The quoad sacra parish of Ballichulish, or rather Ballichulish and Corran of Ardgour, consists of two distinct districts, separated from each other by Loch Linnhe, and having a church in each of them.  The district connected with the church at North Ballichulish, in the county of Inverness, extends seventeen miles by seven, or 119 square miles; while that connected with the church at Ardgour, in the county of Argyll, extends fourteen miles by six miles, or eighty-four square miles, making a total area of 203 square miles.  Both the churches were built in the year 1829, and they are about four miles apart; the church of Ballichulish contains 300 sittings, and that of Ardgour 210: divine service is performed once a fortnight in each.   A school is supported by government in the former district; and another, in the latter, by the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge.  At Corran of Ardgour is a ferry connecting the two divisions, with an inn on each side: the inn on the Ardgour shore is very comfortable, and much frequented in summer.  Cuil House, the residence of the chief of Ardgour, Colonel Mc Lean, stands at the foot of a range of lofty mountains, and at the edge of an extensive flat, and commands one of the grandest prospects in this part of the county.



A royal fortress and a village, in the parish of Kilmalie, county of Inverness, 30 miles (s. w.) from Fort-Augustus, and 135 (n. w. by w.) from Edinburgh; containing 1091 inhabitants.  This place, called also Maryburgh in honour of the queen of William III., in whose reign the fortress was erected, and Gordonsburgh from the family of Gordon, on whose lands the village was built, is situated at the eastern extremity of Loch Eil, near the base of Ben-Nevis, and in the heart of a district abounding with wildly romantic scenery.  The fortress stands on the site of an intrenchment thrown up by General Monk, and consists of an Irregular triangle, defended by a glacis and fosse, with two bastions, mounted with fifteen twelve-pounders.  It has a bomb-proof magazine, and barracks for the reception of two field-officers, two captains, four subalterns, and a garrison of ninety-six non-commissioned officers and privates.  Fort-William was besieged by a party of the rebels, under the command of Captain Scott, in 1746; but after a resolute defence of five weeks, during which six men were killed and twenty-four wounded, the assailants raised the siege, and dispersed.  A considerable portion of the wall was undermined some few years since, by the impetuous current of the river Nevis, descending from Ben-Nevis; and the structure has since that time been gradually going into decay.

The village consists of a long narrow street, extending along the margin of the lake, and intersected by various smaller streets.  Its inhabitants are chiefly supported by the herring-fishery, for which the harbour affords considerable facilities, and a quay has been constructed, partly at the expense of the fishery commissioners, and partly by private contributions.  A public library, which forms a tolerable collection of standard works, is supported by subscription; and the village has some good inns: one of the sheriffs-substitute, whose jurisdiction extends over part of Argyllshire, resides in the village; and there are some families of respectability within the fortress.  Fairs are held for cattle and horses on the second Wednesdays in June and November, and a fair for sheep and wool on the Tuesday after the second Thursday in July, all of which are well attended.  A church was recently erected, to replace a former that had been pronounced unsafe; it is a neat structure containing 350 sittings, and the missionary has a stipend of £100, of which £60 are paid by the Committee of the Royal Bounty, £20 by the heritors, and the remainder by the congregation.  There are a place of worship for members of the Free Church, an episcopal, and a Roman Catholic chapel; and the parochial school is situated in the village.  During Her Majesty's trip to Scotland in 1847, the royal party landed here on the 21st of August, after their visit to Iona and Staffa, and hence proceeded, amid general rejoicing, to Ardverikie Lodge, in Laggan, whence they returned on the 17th September, and embarked at Fort-William for England.



A Highland parish, partly in the district and county of Argyll, and partly in the county of Inverness; containing, with the village of Fort-William, all the quoad sacra district of Ballichulish and Corran-of-Ardgour, 5397 inhabitants, of whom 2741 are in the county of Inverness.  The wide district comprehending the present parishes of Kilmalie and Kilmonivaig at one time formed one parish, under the appellation of Lochaber; but the parish was divided into two distinct parishes about the middle of the seventeenth century.  Kilmalie is supposed to have derived its name from the dedication of its church to the Virgin Mary.  It derives much historical interest from its being the head-quarters of the clan Cameron.  In the seventeenth century, when General Monk found great difficulty in subduing Sir Ewan Cameron of Locheil, he planted a garrison at the place now called Fort-William, in order to keep that chief and his dependents in awe.  A severe conflict soon afterwards occurred between the Camerons and a considerable party of the English, on the shore of Loch Eil, in which the former were victorious; and the bold and resolute chief continued in various ways to harass the new garrison in his neighbourhood, till at last, finding his country impoverished, and the people almost ruined, he submitted on terms of his own dictating, and Monk immediately wrote him a letter of thanks, dated at Dalkeith, the 5th of June, 1665.  During the rebellion of 1745-46, the district suffered in some degree from the devastations of the royal forces, who, after their victory at Culloden, encamped at Fort-Augustus, whence they sent detachments to Lochaber; and a party of troops was finally stationed at the head of Loch Arkaig, to check the movements of the clan Cameron, whose chief, Locheil, had joined the Young Pretender.  The parish is about sixty miles in length and thirty miles in extreme breadth.  Its scenery is most magnificent, scarcely equalled in the Highlands.  The surface is mountainous and wild, and is deeply indented with lochs, and diversified with ravines which, when they intervene between the higher mountains, are narrow and precipitous, and when between those of inferior elevation, assume more the appearance of valleys. Ben-Nevis, to the east of Fort- William, the loftiest mountain but one in the whole country, has an elevation of 4370 feet above the level of the sea, commanding from its summit, which is difficult of ascent, a most unbounded prospect.  The summits of most of the higher mountains are perfectly sterile, and have a dreary aspect; and in the clefts on the north-east, snow in a frozen state is to be found at all times.

The principal inlets from the sea, connected with the parish, are, Loch Linnhe, in the south-west, reaching along the shores of Ardgour to the entrance of Loch Eil; Loch Leven, about ten miles to the south of Fort-William, branching from Loch Linnhe towards the east, for almost twelve miles, between the mountains of Glen-coe and Lochaber; and Loch Eil, stretching in a north-eastern direction to Fort-William and the Caledonian canal, and then taking a north-western direction for nearly ten miles towards Arisaig.  The only inland lake wholly within the parish is Loch Arkaig, situated among the mountains, and skirted by the military road from Fort-William by Corpach ferry.  This lake is about sixteen miles in length and a mile broad; and near one extremity is a densely-wooded island, which has been for ages the burying-place of the family of Locheil and its chieftains.  Loch Lochy, part of the line of the Caledonian canal, and about a mile and a half to the east of Loch Arkaig, is chiefly in the parish of Kilmonivaig, but extends for nine miles into this parish.  The valley between these two lakes abounds with romantic scenery.  The river Lochy, issuing from the lake of that name, forms a confluence with the Spean at Mucomre Bridge, and for about eight miles constitutes a boundary between the parishes of Kilmalie and Kilmonivaig: it flows into the sea at Fort-William, where it is met by the river Nevis, which descends from Ben-Nevis in an impetuous torrent forming a magnificent cascade.  The Lochy abounds with salmon, which are taken in great quantities, and sent to the London market; and herrings of small size but of excellent quality, salmon, cod, whitings, haddocks, and flounders, with other kinds of fish, are found in the salt-water lochs.  A considerable quantity of salmon is packed in tin boxes, hermetically sealed, at Corpach Ferry, and forwarded to India.  There are commodious bays at Corran-Ardgour, where is likewise a ferry; at Eilan-na-gaul; and at Camus-na-gaul, near the south entrance of the Caledonian canal, opposite to Fort-William.  There is also a ferry on the Lochy, where are good quays on both banks of the river, and where, from the great intercourse with Fort-William, about two miles distant, a snbstantial bridge would afford very desirable accommodation.

The quantity of arable land in this extensive parish is very inconsiderable.  Some attempts to reclaim portions of waste, and bring them under cultivation, have recently been made, and the result has been such as to encourage further efforts; but the people at present are chiefly dependent on the rearing of sheep and cattle, and on the fisheries.  The soil on the coast, and along the shores of the rivers, is tolerably fertile, but in other parts sandy and shallow; the chief crops are oats and potatoes, of which latter great quantities are raised. The sheep-farms are well managed, and considerable attention is paid to the rearing of cattle, for which the hills afford good pasture; both the sheep and cattle are sent to the Falkirk trysts, where they find a ready sale.  The annual value of real property in the parish is £8079.  In some respects the geology of the parish is very remarkable. The rocks arc mostly gneiss and mica-slate, and there are extensive beds of quartz and hornblende.  At North Ballichulish is a quarry of slate, which has not yet been much wrought; and at Fassfern is a quarry of good building-stone, from which materials were raised for the construction of the Caledonian canal, and the quay at Fort-William.  In the mountain of Ben-Nevis are found large detached masses of grey granite, weighing from ten to forty tons.  The ancient woods, which were very extensive, have been partly cut down; but there are still remaining great numbers of venerable oaks, and firs of luxuriant growth.  Extensive plantations, also, have been formed on the lands of the principal proprietors, and are in a thriving state.  Achnacarry, the seat of Cameron of Locheil, is an elegant modern structure, built of materials found near the spot.  Ardgour, the seat of Colonel Mc Lean, is a handsome mansion of more ancient style, but recently repaired and enlarged; it is pleasantly situated near Corran Ferry, in grounds tastefully laid out, and enriched with plantations.  Callart, the seat of Sir Duncan Cameron of Fassfern, Bart., is beautifully situated on the banks of Loch Leven.  The villages in the parish are, North Ballichulish and Fort-William, both of which are described under their respective heads; and Corpach, near the southern extremity of the Caledonian canal, where the parish church is situated, and where a post-office has been established.  Facility of communication is afforded by steamers twice a week during summer, and once a week during winter, between Inverness and Glasgow.

For ecclesiastical purposes the parish is within the bounds of the presbytery of Abertarff, synod of Glenelg.  The minister's stipend is L287.15.8., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £60 per annum; patron, Cameron of Locheil.  Kilmalie church is a neat plain structure, erected in 1783, at a cost of £440, and contains 1000 sittings.  A church has been erected at Fort-William, where are also an episcopal and a Roman Catholic chapel; and there are two churches in the quoad sacra district of Ballichulish and Corran-of-Ardgour.  The members of the Free Church have a place of worship.  The parochial school, situated at Fort-William, is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average £45.  Three schools are supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, who allow the masters a salary of £17 each, with a house and garden; and there is also a female school, at Fort-William, of which they give the teacher £8.  A school is supported by the Gaelic School Society, who allow £20 per annum for the gratuitous instruction of fifty children; and there is a school on the grounds of Achnacarry, near the mansion, the teacher of which receives £10 per annum from Mrs. Cameron.  Of the other schools in the parish, one, at Ballichulish, is maintained by government.  At the western extremity of the parish is a monument, erected on the spot where Prince Charles Edward first unfurled his standard for the gathering of the clans, in the rebellion of 1745.  In the churchyard is a monument to the memory of Colonel John Cameron of Fassfern, of the 92nd regiment of Scottish Highlanders, who was killed at the battle of Waterloo.  Evan Mc Lachlane, of the grammar school of Aberdeen, an eminent scholar, who translated part of Homer's Iliad into Gaelic verse, was a native of this parish.



A parish, in the county of Inverness, 10 miles (n.n.e,) from Fort-William; containing 2791 inhabitants.  It is situated towards the western extremity of the county, in the district of Lochaber, and was the territory of Bancho, thane of Lochaber, and ancestor of the royal house of Stuart.  That chief, as well as other thanes of Lochaber, is supposed to have occupied either the castle of Inverlochy, now in ruins, or a more ancient structure standing on the site; and their fortress was the most conspicuous feature in the once thriving burgh of Inverlochy, which some of the old historians call "the emporium of the west of Scotland."  The castle is traditionally reported to have been originally a royal residence; and it is said that the celebrated league between Charlemagne, and Achaius, King of the Scots, was signed here about the end of the eighth century.  Near this spot, a fierce encounter took place in 1431 between Donald Ballael, cousin of Alexander, Lord of the Isles, then a state prisoner in Tantallan Castle, and the Earls of Caithness and Mar, the king's lieutenants: in this battle the royal forces were defeated, the Earl of Caithness was slain, and the Earl of Mar escaped with difficulty with his life.  Again, in 1645, an encounter took place in the same vicinity between Montrose and Argyll, in which, after a severe contest, the latter was entirely routed.  In a field named Dail-ruairi, at the east end of Loch Lochy, a battle was fought on the 3rd of July, 1544, between the Macdonalds and the Frasers: the slaughter was great on both sides; Lord Lovat, with 300 of his name, fell, and his eldest son was mortally wounded.  Near Keppoch, also in the parish, is a place called Mulroy, the scene of the last feudal battle which was fought by clans in Scotland, when, after a sanguinary engagement between the Macintoshes and the Mc Ronalds, the former were completely routed, and their chief taken prisoner. Kilmonivaig, and part of the adjacent country, have been denominated "the cradle of the rebellion" of 1745.  The Young Pretender, in that year, erected his standard in this dreary and mountainous district, and was joined by the famous Cameron of Locheil; and the first act of rebellion was an attack on the royal troops by the Macdonalds of Keppoch.  After the suppression of the rebellion, Prince Charles Edward availed himself of the secluded glens of this district as a convenient refuge.

The parish is divided into the two districts of Lochaber and Glengarry.  At one time it was united to Kilmalie, the two together being called the parish of Lochaber; but it was separated by the authority of the Church courts, about the beginning of the eighteenth century.  It is said to be the most wild and mountainous district in the kingdom, measuring about sixty miles in length from north to south, and twenty-five miles at its greatest breadth, and comprising 300,000 acres, of which a small portion is under natural wood and in plantations, a much smaller part under tillage, and the remainder natural pasture.  Glenspean, forming the chief part of the parish, is bounded on the south by Ben-Nevis, and its subordinate range, which stretches toward the east; and on the north by a series of elevations which, though lofty, reach a far less altitude than those on the opposite boundary.  It commences near Ben-Nevis, and contracts in width gradually towards the middle until, a little above Keppoch, its whole breadth is occupied by the rapid stream of the Spean, a river issuing from Loch Laggan, and augmented by the Treig from the south-west, and several other tributaries.  After this, the glen expands again, and extends to the west end of Loch Laggan.  It is joined near the centre by Glenroy; and in the parish is also a part of the great Caledonian glen, extending from the west end of Loch Lochy to the east end of Loch Oich, a distance of nearly fifteen miles: between these two lakes a portion of the Caledonian canal is cut.  The Spean empties itself into the river Lochy, which runs into Loch Eil, a branch of the Atlantic, at Fort-William.

The soil in some places is excellent, especially in Glenspean; but very little has been done in the way of husbandry, the hills and glens affording superior pasture, and being appropriated to sheep and black-cattle, which engross the chief attention.  Upwards of 100,000 sheep are reared in the parish every year. Two of the sheep-farms exceed 100 square miles in extent; and the stock reared supplies large quantities of valuable wool, purchased by staplers from England, and from Glasgow and Aberdeen.  Very few agricultural improvements have been attempted; but the large number of acres of superior land in Glenspean alone, capable of the highest cultivation, offers a temptation to wealthy proprietors, and might make an ample return for an outlay of capital.  The annual value of real property in the parish is £12,745.  The substrata consist chiefly of gneiss and mica-slate, and occasionally enormous masses are to be seen of protruding granite and of compact felspar rocks.  There is a plumbago-mine in Glengarry, but it is not in operation.  The only mansion of importance is Glengarry House, the seat of Lord Ward, beautifully situated on the margin of Loch Oich, erected shortly after the demolition of the ancient castle of the same name by order of the Duke of Cumberland.  The roads to Inverness and Edinburgh pass through the parish; and at High-Bridge is a fine bridge of three arches over the Spean, built by General Wade.  The chief traffic consists in sheep, black-cattle, and wool, mostly disposed of at the southern markets and in England; and there are salmon-fishings on the Garry, on Loch Oich, and on the Lochy river.  There are five annual fairs for the sale of black-cattle and sheep, or for general business, respectively held in June, July, September, October, and November.

Ecclesiastically the parish is in the presbytery of Abertarff, synod of Glenelg, and in the patronage of John Walker, Esq., of Lochtrieg: the minister's stipend is £289, with an allowance of £70 per annum in lieu of manse and glebe.  Kilmonivaig church is a very plain edifice, built about the year 1814.  There are two missionaries in connexion with the Establishment, supported by the Royal Bounty; one officiates in the district of Brae Lochaber, and in a district of the parish of Kilmalie, alternately, and the other at three preaching stations in the district of Glengarry.  There is a chapel at Brae Lochaber for Roman Catholics, who make about half of the population of the parish.  The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £34, with £20 fees.  There is also an Assembly's school at Bunroy, another in Glengarry, and a Society school at Invergarry.  The antiquities comprise the ruin of Inverlochy Castle, and a vitrified fort.  The parallel road. of Glenroy are highly celebrated, and have exercised the ingenuity of antiquaries in the attempt to account for their formation.  They are situated in Glenroy, a tract eleven miles in length and one mile in breadth, skirted with tolerably steep banks, on which are the terraces or roads, three in number on each side of the glen, and composed of gravel and clay.  The roads are quite level, and exactly parallel with each other, varying from sixty to seventy feet in breadth, and accommodating themselves, throughout the whole extent of the glen, to the curvatures and windings of the mountains on each side.  Imperfect terraces of a similar kind have been traced in some of the neighbouring glens.  The prevailing opinion with regard to the origin of the Glenroy roads is, that they are deposits from the adjacent heights, brought down at three different periods, when the valley was a lake.  It is thought that the loose materials carried down by floods met with a check when they reached the waters, and thus formed the highest road; that the lake afterwards was partially drained, which allowed of the formation of the second road; and that the third was subsequently made, in a similar manner.  Ian Lom, the Jacobite Gaelic poet, well known in the era of the rebellion, resided in the parish.

Editor's NotesSubtitled: "comprising the several counties, islands, cities, burgh and market towns, parishes, and principal villages with historical and statistical descriptions: embellished with engravings of the seals and arms of the different burghs and universities."

The above referenced sections were taken from the second edition of this book, which post-dates 1846 date by a few years.  It calls out Queen Victoria's trip to the Highlands in the autumn of 1847.  The original 1846 publication date of the first edition has been adhered to, since it seems that future editions merely "tacked on" minor details to the original text.  All considered, this is an extensive and handy reference book.