ISLAND OF ARRAN, Buteshire
"The large island of Arran lies five miles south-west of Bute, and between the peninsula of Cantyre and Ayrshire: in form it approaches an oval, extending from north to south twenty miles, and in breadth twelve. While Bute is mostly low and gren, Arran is lofty and brown, with many heathy mountains, some of which exceed three thousand feet in altitude. A small portion of the lower grounds are cultivated, but the whole is essentially and characteristically pastoral. There are several remarkable caves: the most distinguished is that on the west, opposite to Campbeltown, called "the King's Cave", from it having afforded shelter to Robert Bruce, before he discomfited Baliol, and ascended the throne of Scotland: it is one hundred and twenty feet in length, sixty in height, and forty-eight in width. Arran belongs principally to the Duke of Hamilton, who has on the island an ancient though somewhat modernised seat, called Brodick Castle; it furnished the title of Earl to the chief of the house of Hamilton, who was regent during the minority of Mary Queen of Scots. The island comprehends two parishes, and its villages are Lamlash and Brodick. It was formerly famous for the excellence of its whiskey (sic); and coal, freestone, and ironstone are said to lie beneath the surface of the soil."
[From Slater's Directory of Scotland, with Topographical and Postal Information, Volume II, 1878]
"ARRAN, island in south of Buteshire. It lies in the Firth of Clyde, 61/2 miles south-west of the nearest part of Bute, 43/4 miles east of the nearest part of Kintyre, and 101/2 west of the nearest part of Ayrshire. Its length, from north-by-west to south-by-east, is 201/2 miles; its mean breadth is about 61/2 miles; and its area is 105,436 acres. Its northern half is chiefly a mass of rugged mountains, with altitudes up to 2874 feet, embosoming many deep ravines and glens. Its southern half is principally undulated, rolling, and hilly, with many summits of greater altitude than 500 feet, and with much diversity of intervening vale and plain. Its coast is mostly a narrow strip of low ground, overhung by mountain or hillm and traversed all round by a good public road. Its aggregate character exhibits vast diversity, force, and wealth of landscape, and possesses more interest for geologists and naturalists than any other tract of equal extent in Great Britain. Most of it belongs to the Duke of Hamilton. Brodick Castle, near the middle of the east coast, is a seat of the duke; and Lamlash Bay, about 6 miles south of that seat, is a roadstead famous for both capacity and safety. Brodick and Lamlash villages are the largest seats of population, and draw many summer visitors. Pop. of the island, 4745."
[From The Gazetteer of Scotland by Rev. John Wilson, published by W. & A. K. Johnston, Edinburgh, 1882]
For information on parishes please return to the main Buteshire page.photographs of Arran and the surrounding area. maps of Arran.