ARGYLE, or ARGATHELIA, a large county, is bounded on the north by Inverness-shire, on the east by the counties of Perth and Dunbarton, and on the south and west by the Frith of Clyde and the Atlantic Ocean. This county is intersected by so many inlets or lochs of the sea, that it is extremely difficult to obtain a correct estimate of its extent. It is generally said to be 115 miles in length from the Mull of Cantyre to the Point of Ardnamurchan, and its greatest breadth is about 70 miles; if, however, the Peninsula of Kintyre, or Cantyre, be cut off, which is 46 miles long by 7 at an average in breadth, the remaining continent of Argyle, which is 75 miles in length, is at an average breadth 35 miles, and added to Kintyre, the whole county makes nearly 273 square miles. The county has about 600 miles of sea coast exclusive of its islands, which are very numerous. The chief of these are Cannay, Sanday, Rum, and Muck, lying north of the Point of Ardnamurchan, and with Eigg, belonging to Inverness-shire, forming the parish of Small Isles; Coll and Tiree lying north of that Point; Mull, almost cut into two parts by a deep bay of the Atlantic, in which are the islands of Staffa and Iona, and an uninhabited cluster called the Treshinish Isles; Ulva, Kerrera, Easdale, Scarba, Lunga, Jura, Colonsay, Oronsay, Islay, Gigha and Cara, Sanda, and others, the computed surface of which will give to the whole county an extent of 3800 square miles, or 2,432,000 acres, of which 308,000 are estimated to be cultivated, 600,000 uncultivated, and 1,524,000 unprofitable; divided into 50 parishes. The population in 1831 was 100,937.

Transcribed from the Comprehensive Gazetteer of Scotland, 1841
View the full transcript