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"Ballachulish (Gael. bail- a - ehaolais, ' town of the strait '), a large but straggling village of Lismore and Appin parish, Argyllshire, extending along the southern shore of salt-water Loch Leven, on either side of the Laroch river, up to the month of Glencoe. Its central point, the bridge over the Laroch, is 1¾ mile WSW of Bridge of Coe, 2⅜ miles ESE of Ballachulish Ferry, and 16½ S of Fort William; by coach and steamer Ballachulish in summer has constant communication with Tyndrum and Oban, and so with all parts of Scotland.

At Ballachulish Ferry, where the entrance of Loch Leven narrows to 1 furlong, stands an excellent hotel; the steamboat pier is 1 mile further W; and the village has a post and telegraph office under Glencoe, an Established church (enlarged 1880), and St John's Episcopal church (1842-48; congregation, 600) in pseudo Early English style. A public and an Episcopal school, accommodating 150 and 170 children, had (1891) an attendance of 100 and 105, and grants of £108,16s. 6d. and £108,10s. Pop. of village (1891) 1045; of Glencoe and Ballachulish registration district (1881) 1529, (1891) 1480. ' The slate quarries, ' to quote from Trans. Highl. and Agricult. Society, ' were commenced about 1760, and at present are worked with great vigour under the trustees of the late Sir George Beresford. The vein of slate, which is at an angle of 80 degrees, stretches S and E from the shore along the side of Meall Mor (2215 feet), and then runs into the centre of it. The face of the rock is laid open by workings fronting N and W, the inclination of the vein being towards the E. The workings of the main or E quarries are conducted in four levels, above the common highway, and three sinkings, making an aggregate working face of 436 feet in depth - an increase of 230 feet since 1843. ... "

Extract from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1882-4


It has been observed that in the 1911 Census of Scotland there is possible incorrect indexing of the 1911 Census data.

  • (Glencoe &) Ballachulish in Duror QSP in 'Lismore & Appin Parish' (525) is in Argyll however you will need to search for it in Inverness-shire as Ballachulish.
  • Ballachulish in the Inverness-shire part of 'Ballachulish & Corran of Ardgour' QSP (506) is indexed under Inverness-shire as Ballachulish.
  • Ardgour is indexed under Argyll.

See under History below.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Ballachulish area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Ballachulish which are provided by:


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Ballachulish has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


The Ballachulish area (Ballachulish, Ballachulish & Corran of Ardgour, Lismore & Appin, Onich & Ballachulish) can perhaps be described as one of Argyll's peculiarities. Historically, the name Ballachulish is proper to the area on the North side of Loch Leven now known as North Ballachulish. However the name was later appropriated to describe the slate quarries developed at East Laroch on the South side of Loch Leven, and eventually adopted for the whole of the former Laroch village. See Wikipedia - Ballachulish.

This has implications for those searching for not only the physical presence of their ancestors, but also those searching for relevant records. See the note under Census above.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NN081580 (Lat/Lon: 56.674320, -5.133840), Ballachulish which are provided by:
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