1851 Topographical dictionary Lewis of Inveraray

in 1851 Samuel Lewis produced a series of "Topographical Dictionaries" A topographical dictionary of Scotland, 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 Lewis Topographical Dictionaries : https://archive.org/stream/topographicaldic01lewi/topographicaldic01lewi_djvu.txt
Lewis Topographical Dictionary of Scotland
INVERARY, or Inveraray, a parish anbd burgh (royal), the county town, in the district and county of Argyll, 60 miles (N. W. by W.) from Glasgow, and 114 (W. N. W.) from Edinburgh; containing 2285 inhabitants, of whom 1233 are in the burgh. This place takes its name from its situation at the mouth of the river Aray, which here falls into Loch Fine or Fyne. It appears to have been, if any thing, only an inconsiderable hamlet consisting of a few fishermen's huts, prior to the fourteenth century, when the Campbell family, selecting it as their principal residence, erected a baronial castle, around which the original town gradually arose. In 1745, Archibald, third Duke of Argyll, commenced the erection of the present magnificent castle, which, after a short interruption during the time of the rebellion, was completed at an expense of nearly £300,000, when the ancient castle was taken
down. In 1748, the duke introduced the linen manufacture, which was carried on for some time with considerable benefit to the inhabitants; and in 17*6, John, the fifth duke, established a woollen manufacture at the Water of Douglas. For this purpose he built premises, erected machinery, and provided every requisite, at his own expense; giving the farm on which the factory w.is built, and the factory itself, at a low rent, to a person who carried on the manufacture for a time with tolerable success. His grace also pulled down the houses nearly contiguous to the castle, and built others of superior character, on grounds which he gave to the inhabitants at a nominal rent.
The TOWN is beautifully situated on the western shore of Loch Fine, and to the south of the pleasure-grounds of the castle, of which it commands an interesting view.
The houses are substantially built, and of handsome appearance; the streets are clean, and lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. The principal trade carried on here is the herring-fishery: the season commences generally about the end of June, and continues till the beginning of January; and during the interval, the fishermen are many of them employed in agriculture. The number of boats engaged in the herring-fishery of Loch Fine is about .500, employing on an average three men and a boy each; and nearly 160 persons are occupied in curing and packing the fish, of which about '20,000 barrels are annually exported. Inverary harbour is not adapted for vessels of any considerable burthen; and previously to 1S09 the quay was in a very bad state; but a good pier has since been constructed, which in 1836 was extended at an expense of
£V100, whereof £S00 were contributed by the Fishery Board, and the remainder by the then Duke of Argyll and the corporation of the town. The post-office has a daily delivery of letters. A ferry to the opposite shore of Loch Fine is kept up by the corporation; and great facilities of communication are afforded by steamers. The market is well supplied with provisions; and fairs are held annually on the 17th of May and I6th of September, for cattle, and on the 15th of July, for wool.
The first notice of the place occurs in a charter granted to Colin, first Earl of Argyll, erecting the town into a burgh of barony; and it was subsequently made a royal
BURGH by charter of Charles I. while a prisoner in Carisbrooke Castle, vesting the government in a provost, four bailies, and a council. Since the passing of the Municipal
Reform act, hosvever, the corporation has consisted of a provost, two bailies, and sixteen councillors. The magistrates exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the chartered boundary of the burgh, with the exception of the castle and park of Inverary; but the former kind of jurisdiction has been almost superseded by the sheriff's small-debt court, and the latter is limited to petty riots and assaults. This burgh is associated with Oban, Campbelltown, Rothesay, Irvine, and Ayr, in returning a member to the imperial parliament. The
number of £10 householders within the parliamentary boundaries is sixty-three, of whom thirty-one are burgesses; and of those above £5, and below £10, twentythree, of whom four are burgesses. The town-house, in which the courts for the burgh and for the county are held, is a handsome building containing a spacious courtroom, and the sheriff, justice of peace, and town-clerk's offices. A new prison has been built, of much larger dimensions than the old one.
The PARISH, originally named Kilmilieu, is situated between the Lochs Awe and Fine, and bounded on the south and east by the latter, along which it extends for about ten miles, in the form of a crescent, presenting an outline of projecting rocks indented with bays. It is sixteen miles in extreme length, varying from three to six miles in breadth, and is supposed to comprise an area of fifty-two square miles, or 34,'2S0 acres, of which by far the greater portion is in pasture. The surface is mountainous, and of great diversity of character. The highest of the mountains is Benbui, which has an elevation of '2800 feet; and in front of the castle are two perpendicular masses of porphyritic rocks, called Dunchuaich and Dunchorvil, the former of them "00 and the latter 800 feet high. The headlands of Kenmore and Stronshira command an interesting view of the parish. In general the shores are smooth and level; but towards the southern extremity, the rocks rise precipitously from the loch, and assume a bold rugged aspect. The chief rivers are, the Shira, which flows through the vale of Glenshira into the Douloch, or " black lake"; and the Ara)', flowing through denary into Loch Fine. A river called the Gear-Amhuinn, or "short river", connects the Douloch with Loch Fine. Both these lochs abound with salmon, trout, and other kinds of fish; and salmontrout, herrings, cod, and flounders are often taken together
in the same net. Near the shore the soil is chiefly a thin light loam, on a gravelly bottom; at the bases of the mountains, in the valleys, a deep dark loam on sand and clay; and in other parts, moss, with a small quantity of earth washed down from the higher grounds. The system of agriculture in the valleys is in an improved condition; but in the higher lands so much progress has not been made, as the farms contain a much larger portion of pasture than of arable ground. On the principal farms the buildings are substantial, but
many of those on the smaller farms are of very inferior order. Much regard is paid to the rearing of cattle, generally of the West Highland breed: little attention is bestowed on the dairy, though for some years the Highland Society has awarded prizes in the county for cheese. The sheep, of which great numbers are reared, are of the black-faced breed. The horses are sometimes of a mixed breed between the native and the Clydesdale, and considerable numbers of pigs are fed for market.
The annual value of real property in the parish is £6836, of which £1973 are returned for the burgh. The geological formation is mica-slate intersected with porphyry, limestone, and greenstone; and many of the rocks abound with garnet. There is an extensive quarry of good paving-stone, great quantities of which are raised for the city of Glasgow.
The plantations are in a very thriving condition, and consist mostly of oak, Scotch fir, spruce, larch, ash, beech, and plane. They were chiefly formed by the first Marquess of Argyll and his son, the ninth earl, and by Archibald, third duke, and his successors; and are supposed to occupy an area of about 12,000 acres. Among the earliest were those of Dunchuaich and the heights above the castle of Inverary, including the stately avenue of beech at the entrance of the vale of Glenshira; and among the more recent are those of the hills of Douloch and Stronshira, which contain some beautiful specimens of larch, Norway spruce, and American black and white spruce, silver fir, laburnum, and lime. Inverary Castle, the seat of the Duke of Argyll, erected near the site of the ancient baronial castle, is a spacious quadrangular structure, with circular towers at the angles. The great hall is ornamented with ancient armour, among which are 150 stand of arms used by the Campbells at the battle of Culloden, ranged on each side: in a circular recess fronting the entrance, are various specimens of Highland armour. The gallery leading to the principal apartments is spacious, and superbly decorated; and the paintings, family portraits, and tapestry are all of the very highest order. The demesne, which is nearly thirty miles in circuit, is tastefully embellished, and laid out in walks and rides, comprising much picturesque and romantic scenery, and commanding extensive and richly diversified prospects. A noble avenue of trees of ancient growth leads into the beautiful glen of Essachossan. In her trip to Scotland in the year 1847, Her Majesty the Queen paid a visit to his grace the Duke of Argyll at Inverary Castle: the royal party was received by a distinguished circle, and after a stay of about an hour and a half, returned to the royal squadron.
Inverary is the seat of the presbytery of Inverary, and the synod of Argyll. There are two ministers: the minister of the first charge has a stipend of £168. 15. (one third paid from the exchequer), with a glebe valued at £45 per annum, and also a manse; and the minister of the second charge, a stipend of £157. 15. (four-fifths derived from the exchequer), with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum: patron of both charges, the Duke of Argyll. The church, erected in 1798, and repaired, after being greatly damaged by lightning, in 1838, is a spacious and handsome structure, with a central tower and spire 115 feet in height, dividing it into two distinct portions, one for the first or Gaelic church, containing 450, and the other for the English congregation, containing 410 sittings. There are places of worship in connexion with the Free Church and the United Presbyterian
Synod. Of the several schools in the burgh, are, a parochial school, with a salary of £'25. 13., besides a schoolroom, dwelling-house, and garden; and a grammar school under the patronage of the corporation, with a salary of £20, and the other accommodations. A female school in the burgh is supported by the Duke of Argyll, who pays the teacher £20 per annum, to which £4 are added by the council; and a female school of industry, also in the burgh, is supported by the duchess, who allows £26 to the teacher, with a dwelling-house, coal, and other perquisites. In the rural districts of the parish are, a parochial school, the master of which has a salary of £25. 13., with a house and garden; a school maintained
by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, the master of which has a salary of £15, to which the duke adds £8, with a house and garden, fuel, and grass for a cow; and a female school, the teacher of which has £5 from the society, and a house from the duke. The poor, the average number of whom on the parish list is fifty, are supported partly by collections at the church, averaging £65 annually, and the interest of funds in the hands of the Kirk Session, producing nearly £10; but chiefly by the Duke of Argyll, who, in various ways, distributes about £300 annually for their relief. There are some slight vestiges of an old fort at Dunchuaich; of .the ancient castle of the Mac Naughtens, on the banks of Douloch; and of some religious houses at Kilbride and Achantiobairt. The market-cross, supposed to have been brought from lona, was removed from the old town, and erected in the present burgh; and on the lawn of Inverary Castle is an upright stone, thought to have been erected in commemoration of some battle near the spot. Over the water of Douglas is a very ancient bridge of one arch, forming the segment of a circle, and thence called the Roman bridge; but the date of its erection is unknown.