In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Kilchoman like this:
Kilchoman, a parish in the SW of Islay district, Argyllshire. Comprising the south-western peninsula of Islay island, between Lochs Indal and Gruinnard, two farms beyond the eastern side of that peninsula, the islets adjacent to the Rhynns of Islay, and the islets near the mouth of Loch Gruinnard, it contains the villages of Portnahaven, Port Charlotte, and Port Wemyss, each of the two former with a post office under Greenock. Its utmost length, from NNE to SSW, is 16 2/3 miles; its average breadth is 5 miles; and its area is 40,164 ¾ acres, of which 2006 are foreshore, and 868 water. ...
The coast and the interior are fully described in our article on Islay; and the lochs, the islets, and the villages are noticed in separate articles. Barely an eleventh of the entire area is in tillage, nearly all the remainder being pastoral or waste. Mansions are Cladville House and Sunderland House; a lighthouse is on Oversay islet, adjacent to the Rhynns; and the chief antiquities are several standing stones and sepulchral tumuli, remains of five pre-Reformation churches, and a finely sculptured cross in the parish churchyard. Two proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of between £100 and £500, and 3 of from £20 to £50. Divided ecclesiastically into Kilchoman proper and Portnahaven, this parish is in the presbytery of Islay and Jura and synod of Argyll; the living is worth £200. The parish church, built in 1826, is a neat edifice, and contains 608 sittings. There are also Free churches of Kilchoman and Portnahaven; and six public schools - Gortan, Kilchoman, Kilnave, Port Charlotte, Portnahaven, and Rockside - with total accommodation for 528 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 275, and grants amounting to £289, 12s. Valuation (1860) £8413, (1883) £11,893, 1s. 2d. Pop. (1801) 2030, (1831) 4822, (1861) 3436, (1871) 2861, (1881) 2547, of whom 2365 were Gaelic-speaking, and 1687 belonged to Kilchoman ecclesiastical parish.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Kilchoman has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Argyll and Bute. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Kilchoman and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Kilchoman in Argyll and Bute | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th June 2013
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