In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Inverchaolain like this:
Inverchaolain, a parish in the S of Cowal district, Argyllshire. It comprises Loch Striven, and contains the village of Colintraive, with a post office under Greenock and a steamboat pier. It is bounded E by the united parishes of Kilmun and Dunoon, SW by the Kyles of Bute and Rothesay Bay, W by Loch Riddon, and NW and N by Kilmodan. ...
Its utmost length, from NNW to SSE, is 133/8 miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 7¾ miles; and its land area is 29,312 acres. The hilly and rugged surface includes some small flat fields adjacent to the shore, but generally rises with steep ascent all round the coast; and formerly was, in main degree, covered with heath, but has been extensively reclaimed into a condition of good sheep pasture. Chief elevations from S to N are Kilmarnock Hill (1283 feet), Bodach Bochd (1713), *Bishop's Seat (1651), *Cruach nan Capull (2005), and *Carn Ban (1869), to the E of Loch Striven; to the W, Meall an Glaic (1325), Meall an Riabhach (1587), Beinn Bhreac (1658), and Cruach nan Cuilean (1416), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate just on the eastern border of the parish. The scenery along the Kyles and up Loch Riddon is brilliantly picturesque, and exhibits attractions which may be compared with those of the Trossachs. Mica slate and other metamorphic rocks are predominant; trap rock forms several prominent dykes; and limestone of hard quality occurs to some extent, and has been worked. Less than one-thirtieth of the entire area is arable; about one-thirteenth is low-lying pasture or under plantations; and all the rest of the land is either hill pasture or waste. Antiquities are a ruined fort on the islet of Ellan-Dheirrig, a standing stone 10 or 12 feet high at the head of Loch Striven, and sepulchral tumuli in several places. South Hall and Knockdhu are the chief mansions; and the property is divided among seven. Inverchaolain is in the presbytery of Dunoon and synod of Argyll; the living is worth £190. The parish church, on the E shore of Loch Striven, 6 miles N by W of Toward, was built in 1812, and contains 250 sittings. The ancient church stood on the side of a hill, about 200 yards above the site of the present one. At South Hall, on the Kyles of Bute, there is a Free church, which, together with the Free church at Kilmodan, forms one ministerial charge; and two public schools, Inverchaolain and South Hall, with respective accommodation for 47 and 42 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 15 and 32, and grants of £24, 10s. and £27, 19s. 10d. Valuation (1860) £4081, (1883) £5547, 16s. Pop. (1801) 626, (1831) 596, (1861) 424, (1871) 443, (1881) 407, of whom 125 were Gaelic-speaking.Ord. Sur., sh. 29, 1873.
Inverchaolain 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 Inverchaolain itself, go to Units and Statistics.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Inverchaolain in Argyll and Bute | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th March 2017
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