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"ROW, village and parish on west border of Dumbartonshire. ... The parish contains also Helensburgh town and most of Garelochhead village, measures 9 miles by 5, and comprises 20,126 acres. ... Pop., quoad civilia, 10,097; quoad sacra, 1725. A belt of low shore and contiguous slope extends along all Gareloch from Helensburgh to Garelochhead, is thickly studded with mansions and villas, and has rich embellishment of wood and culture; a hill-range, with altitudes of from 667 to 1183 feet above sea-level, extends immediately behind, and abuts on Loch Long; another range, with altitudes of from 1630 to 2092 feet, extends parallel to that, has its watershed along the northern boundary, and also abuts on Loch Long; and Geln-fruin, contracting gradually from strath to narrowness, lies between the two ranges. Chief seats are Ardincaple, Shandon Lodge, and West Shandon; and chief antiquities are vestiges of Shandon and Faslane castles. Eight churches are in Helensburgh, 2 are in Garelochhead, and 1 is at Shandon. Fourteen schools for 2132 scholars are in the parish, and 2 of them for 230 are new." ...

"... The village stands on the north side of Gareloch, 2¾ miles north-west of Helensburgh; is environed by charming scenery of water, wood, and villas; and has a post office, with money order and telegraph departments, under Helensburgh, a steamboat pier, a beautiful towered parochial church of 1850, a cemetery with grave and monument of Henry Bell, and a public school with about 83 scholars. Pop. 516."

[From The Gazetteer of Scotland, by Rev. John Wilson, 1882.]


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Church Records

Records in the old parish registers (OPRs) for Rhu parish span the following years:

Births or Baptisms ~ 1760-1854
Marriages or Banns ~ 1760-1854
Deaths or Burials ~ no records

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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