"Killarrow, a parish in Islay district, Argyllshire, comprising the central and northern parts of Islay island, and comprehending the ancient parishes of Killarrow and Kilmeny. Often called Bowmore, it contains the town of BOWMORE and the villages of BRIDGEND and PORT ASKAIG, all three with a post, money order, and telegraph office. It is bounded N by the Atlantic Ocean, E by the Sound of Islay, S by Rildalton, and W by Loch Indal and Kilchoman. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 13 miles; its utmost breadth is 8 miles; and its area is 65,929 acres. The coasts, the interior, and the prominent features of the parish have all been noticed in our article on ISLAY. About three-sevenths of the entire area are regularly or occasionally in tillage; between 1000 and 2000 acres are under wood; and the rest is pastoral or waste. The chief antiquities are ruins of FINLAGAN Castle, Loch GUIRM Castle, CLAIG Castle, and several Scandinavian strongholds. Islay House, near Bridgend, is now the property of the Morrison family. In the presbytery of Islay and Jura and synod of Argyll, this parish is ecclesiastically divided into Killarrow and Kilmeny, the former a living worth 174 with manse. The ancient parish church stood in the SW corner, a little S of Bowmore; the present one, in Bowmore, was built in 1767, enlarged in 1828, and had an organ introduced in 1890. There is a chapel of ease at Mulindry .There are also Free churches of Bowmore and Killarrow. Bowmore, Bunahabhain, Riels, Kilmeny, Mulindry, and Newton of Kilmeny public schools, with respective accommodation for 210, 58, 98, 98, 61, and 144 children, have an average attendance of about 170, 25, 45, 60, 25, and 65, and grants amounting to about 225, 42, 58, 76, 47, and 88. Pop. (1881) 2756, (1891) 2660, of whom 2219 were Gaelic-speaking, and 1855 were in Killarrow, and 805 in Kilmeny."

Extract from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland c.1896)


Description and Travel

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Year Population
1881 2756
1891 2660