"Kilmodan, a parish in Cowal district, Argyllshire, containing the Clachan of Glendaruel, which, standing on the left bank of the Ruel, 17 miles NNE of Rothesay and 6 E of Otter Ferry, has a post office under Greenock, an inn, and the parish church. It is bounded NE by Strachur, E by Kilmun and Inverchaolain, S by Inverchaolain and Loch Riddon, SW and W by Kilfinan, and NW by Stralachlan. Its utmost length, from NNE to SSW, is 13⅛ miles; its utmost width, from E to W, is ¾ miles; and its area is 25,838⅔ acres, of which 307¾ are foreshore and 123 water. The Ruel, formed by two head-streams at an altitude of 90 feet above sea-level, winds 10½ miles south-by-westward down a beautiful narrow glen till it falls into the head of salt-water Loch riddon; just above its mouth it is joined by Tamhnich Burn, which, after tracing 3 miles of the eastern boundary, flows 1⅝ mile west-south-westward through the interior. The surface is mostly occupied by heathy hills, chief elevations from S to N being Cnoc nan Darach (1184 feet), Cruach nam Mull (1069), Cruach nam Gearran (1230), Cruach Chuilceachan (1428), *An Socach (1345), *Creag Tharsuinn (2111), and Cruach an Lochain (1658), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the eastern and north-western borders. Mica slate is the predominant rock, though limestone also abounds; and the soil along the bottom of Glendaruel is a deep and fertile alluvium. Rather more than one-sixteenth of the entire area is in tillage; 1130 acres are under wood; and the rest is most of it moorland pasture. Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746), the eminent mathematician, was a son of the parish minister. Antiquities are Caledonian cairns and traces of Scandinavian fortalices. Glendaruel House, Dunans, and Ormidale, all noticed separately, are the chief residences; and the property is mostly divided among six. Kilmodan is in the presbytery of Dunoon and synod of Argyll; the living is worth £237. The parish church is a sufficiently commodious edifice. A Free church stands 7 furlongs NNE; and two public schools, Kilmodan and Stronafian, with respective accommodation for 40 and 60 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 16 and 24, and grants of £29, 13s. and £32,11s. Valuation (1860) £3604, (1883) £4788, 10s. Pop. (1801) 502, (1831) 648, (1861) 433, (1871) 358, (1881) 323, of whom 229 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur.., shs. 29, 37, 1873-76."
Extract from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4)