Killarrow  Argyll


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Killarrow like this:

Killarrow, a parish in Islay district, Argyllshire, comprising the central and northern parts of Islay island, and comprehending the ancient parishes of Killarrow and Kilmeny. Often called Bowmore, it contains the town of Bowmore and the villages of Bridgend and Port Askaig, all three with a post office under Greenock. ...

It is bounded N by the Atlantic Ocean, E by the Sound of Islay, S by Kildalton, and W by Loch Indal and Kilchoman. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 13 miles; its utmost breadth is 8¼ miles; and its area is 65, 929 acres. The coasts, the interior, and the prominent features of the parish have all been noticed in our article on Islay. About three-sevenths of the entire area are regularly or occasionally in tillage; between 1000 and 2000 acres are under wood; and the rest is pastoral or waste. The chief antiquities are ruins of Finlagan Castle, Loch Guirm Castle, Claig Castle, and several Scandinavian strongholds. Islay House, near Bridgend, is now the property of Charles Morrison, Esq. (b. 1817), who holds 67, 000 acres in the shire, valued at £16, 440 per annum. Two other proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 3 of between £100 and £500, and 6 of from £20 to £50. In the presbytery of Islay and Jura and synod of Argyll, this parish is ecclesiastically divided into Killarrow and Kilmeny, the former a living worth £181. The ancient parish church stood in the SW corner, a little S of Bowmore; the present one, in Bowmore, was built in 1767, and, as enlarged in 1828, contains 831 sittings. There are also Free churches of Bowmore, Killarrow, and Kilmeny; and Kiels heritors' school and the public schools of Bowmore, Kilmeny, Mulindry, and Newton of Kilmeny, with respective accommodation for 66, 210, 107, 61, and 160 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 46, 132, 69, 19, and 103, and grants of £41, £89, 0s. 8d., £59, 5s., £30, 2s., and £108, 12s. Valuation (1860) £6609, 8s. 8d., (1883) £16, 343, 4s. Pop. (1801) 2781, (1821) 5778, (1841) 7341, (1861) 3969, (1871) 3012, (1881) 2756, of whom 2181 were Gaelic-speaking, and 1875 were in Killarrow, 881 in Kilmeny.

Located at Bridgend, based on the statement "Kilarrow itself was a village very close to Islay House", found on an Islay blog (, accessed 1/9/2010). A more authoritative source is needed.

Killarrow through time

Killarrow is now part of Argyll and Bute district. Click here for graphs and data of how Argyll and Bute has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Killarrow itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Killarrow in Argyll and Bute | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 17th January 2019

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