Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Kintail

Kintail, a village and a parish of SW Ross-shire. The village stands on the northern shore of the head of Loch Duich, 13 miles SE of Strome Ferry station, and 8 ESE of Lochalsh village, under which it has a post office. The parish, containing also the fishing villages of Bundalloch and Dornie, is bounded NW by Loch Long and by Lochalsh parish, N by Lochalsh, E by Kilmorack in Inverness-shire, S by Glenshiel, and SW by Loch Duich. Its utmost length, from ENE to WSW, is 195/8 miles; its utmost breadth is 93/8 miles; and its area is 1233/7 square miles, or 78,9931/8 acres, of which 238¼ are foreshore, 58 tidal water, and 12554/5 water. Narrow, curving Loch Long and broader, straighter Loch Duich, the forked continuations of salt-water Loch Alsh, are noticed separately, as also are the Pass of Bealach, Ellandonan Castle, and the Falls of Glomach. To the head of Loch Long flow the river Ling or Long, running 11 miles west - south - westward from Loch Cruashie (4 x 1½ furl.; 850 feet) along the northern and north-western boundary, and the river Elchaig, formed by two head-streams at an altitude of 290 feet, and running 6½ miles west-north-westward; whilst to the head of Loch Duich flows the Croe, over its last 1¼ mile dividing Kintail from Glenshiel. The drainage, however, is partly carried towards the Moray Firth by the Cannich, flowing 2 miles east-by-northward from Loch Glasletter or Lungard (1½ mile x 2¾ furl.; 761 feet) to Loch Mullardoch (4¼ miles x 1¼ to 4 furl.; 705 feet), whose upper waters belong to Kintail, and lower to Kilmorack. The surface everywhere is grandly mountainous, chief elevations from W to E being Sgurr an Airgid (2757 feet), Glasvein (3006), *Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan (3771), *Mam Sodhail or Carn Eige (3877), and *Sgurr na Lapaich (3773), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. `From whatever quarter Kintail is entered, whether by sea from the W or by land from the E, a scene gradually unfolds itself which it is impossible to describe. Mountains of immense magnitude, grouped together in the sublimest manner, with wood and water, scars and bens intermingled, present a prospect seldom surpassed in wild beauty, and equally interesting and astonishing in the storms of winter and in the calm serenity of summer.' Gneiss is the predominant rock, but granite and syenite also occur. Sheep-farming constitutes the staple industry, there being some very fine grazing lands along Loch Duich, principally green, but steep and rocky. Sir Alex. Matheson, Bart., holds rather more than two-thirds, and the Chisholm somewhat less than one-fourth, of the entire rental. The lord, however, of the Barony of Kintail is James Mackenzie, Esq. of Glenmuick, who purchased it from the Mackenzies of Seaforth in 1869, and who holds 25,500 acres in Ross-shire, valued at £1983 per annum. Kintail is in the presbytery of Lochcarron and synod of Glenelg; the living is worth £210, exclusive of manse and glebe. The old parish church, at the village, having been declared unsafe in 1855, a new one was built containing 450 sittings. At Dornie is a Roman Catholic church, St Duthac's (1861; 170 sittings), erected by the late Duchess of Leeds. Dornie public, Inverinate public, Killilan public, and Dornie Roman Catholic schools, with respective accommodation for 50, 49, 60, and 88 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 31, 20, 26, and 23, and grants of £26, £27, 14s., £39, 17s., and £18, 12s. Valuation (1860) £4190, (1882) £6143. Pop. (1801) 1038, (1831) 1240, (1861) 890, (1871) 753, (1881) 688, of whom 652 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur., shs. 72, 82, 1880-82.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village and a parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Kintail ScoP       Ross Shire ScoCnty
Place: Kintail

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