ARDCHATTAN, a parish, in the district of Lorn, county of Argyll, 8 miles (E. N. E.) from Oban; containing 2421 inhabitants, of whom 960 are in the quoad sacra parish of Muckairn. This place is supposed to have derived its name from Catan, who accompanied St. Columba to Scotland, about the year 563; and from its mountainous aspect, of which the term Ardchattan is also descriptive, signifying "the hill" or "promontory of Catan." It obtained, for some time, the appellation of Bal Mhoadan, or " the residence of Moadan," in honour of whom a church was erected in the vicinity, which afterwards became the church of the parish of Kilmodan; and that portion of the parish which is comprehended between the river Awe and Loch Etive, still retains the name of Benderloch, descriptive of a mountainous district between two arms of the sea. The Parish is bounded on the north by the river and loch of Creran; on the south and east, by Loch Etive, and the river and loch of Awe; and on the west by Loch Linnhe; and, exclusively of Muckairn, is about 40 miles in length, and 10 miles in average breadth. The surface is generally mountainous, but diversified with several glens and valleys of considerable extent, some richly embellished with wood, and displaying much romantic scenery; the level lands are intersected with numerous streams, and the hills of more moderate height are crowned with plantations. With the exception of the valley of Glenure and a few other spots, the only arable lands are towards the north and east, beyond which little cultivation is found; lofty mountains, in various directions, rise so abruptly from the sides of the lakes, as to leave little land that can be subjected to the plough.
   Of these mountains, the principal is Ben-Cruachan, the highest in the county, having an elevation of 3669 feet above the sea, and rising from a base of more than twenty miles in circumference; the acclivity, towards the vale of Glencoe, is precipitously steep, but from the south, behind Inverawe, the ascent is more gradual, terminating in two conical summits commanding a most unbounded prospect. Ben-Cochail, to the north of it, though little inferior in height, appears much diminished by comparison; and Ben-Starive, still further up the lake, rises from abase of large extent, to an elevation of 2500 feet. The acclivities of the latter, of barren aspect, are deeply furrowed; and in the channels of the streams which descend from it, are found beautiful crystals, little inferior to the cairngorms of the Grampians. Ben-Nan-Aighean, or the "mountain of the heifers," to the south of Ben-Starive, rises to a great height, terminating in a peak of granite; for about, half way up the acclivities it affords Tolerable pasture, and is thence rugged and barren to its summit; rock crystals are found near its base, and in the beds of its numerous streams. Ben-Chaorach, or the "mountain of the sheep," near Ben-Starive, is of inferior height, but affords good pasturage. Ben-Ketlan, to the north of it, is of greater elevation, and presents a finer outline, bounded on the one side of its base by the Alt-Ketlan stream, and by the Alt-Chaorach on the other; it is the most fertile of the mountains. Two most conspicuous mountains called Buachail-Etive, or the "keepers of the Etive," and situated near the termination of the lake of that name, are distinguished by the names Buachail-Mor and Buachail-Beg, from the respective extent of their bases, though neither of them has an elevation of less than 3000 feet. Ben-Veedan, called also Ben-Nambian, or the "mountain of the deer-skins," from the number of deer which are killed there, is separated from Buachail-Beg by the mountain-pass of Larig-Aoilt, a stupendous range scarcely inferior, in elevation, to Ben-Cruachan, and which opens into the vale of Glencoe. Ben-Treelahan, on the west side of Loch Etive, which washes its base for nearly five miles, and Ben-Starive, on the opposite side, greatly contract the breadth of the lake, and, by their rugged aspect, spread over it a romantic gloom hardly surpassed in mountain scenery. In the north-east of the parish, also, are other mountains, of which the principal are, Ben-Aulay, the highest of the range; Ben-Scoullard, Ben-Vreck, Ben-Molurgan, and Ben-Vean.
   Of the numerous glens interspersed between the mountains, is Glen-Noe, about four miles in length, and one mile in breadth, inclosed on the north side by Ben-Cruachan, and on the south by Ben-Cochail; it is clothed with rich verdure, and watered throughout by a stream, of which the banks, as it approaches the sea, are finely wooded. A house has been built near the opening, for the residence of the farmer who rents it, than which a more delightful summer retreat can scarcely be imagined. Glen-Kinglas is about nine miles in length, and nearly two in breadth, and watered by the river to which it gives name; the north side is rocky and barren, but the south affords excellent pasture. It formerly abounded with timber, which was felled for charcoal, by an iron-smelting company, about a century since; but, with the exception of a few alders on the banks of the river, and some brushwood of little value, it is now destitute of wood. Glen-Ketlan, inclosed on one side by the mountain of that name, is about two miles in length, and watered by the river Etive, which enters it, about three miles from the head of Loch Etive. Glen-Etive commences at the head of the lake of that name, and is more than sixteen miles in length; it was formerly a royal forest, of which the hereditary keeper claims exemption from certain payments. One portion of the glen,with a contiguous tract in the parish of Glenorchy, has been stocked with red deer, by the Marquess of Breadalbane, and another portion of it has been appropriated by Mr. Campbell, of Monzie, to the same purpose. The whole tract is marked throughout by features of sublimity and grandeur, though stripped of the majestic timber with which it was anciently embellished. Glen-Ure, or the "glen of yew-trees," opens from the river Creran, and expands to the south and east, for about three miles; near the river are the dilapidated remains of the ancient mansion of the family of Glenure, and adjacent is the farm of Barnamuch, which has been always famed for the richness of its pastures. The remote extremity of the glen is marked with features of rugged grandeur. Glen-Dindal, or Glen-Dow, about seven miles to the west of Glenure, is three miles in length, and, in the lower part, luxuriantly wooded; it is frequented by numbers of fallow deer, originally introduced about the middle of the last century. Glen-Salloch, the most elevated of the glens, is situated between Loch Etive and Loch Creran, and extends from south to north, for about six miles; it comprehends much variety of scenery, and the views from any point commanding either of the lakes, are romantically picturesque.
   The principal lakes are, Loch Etive, and Loch Creran; the former branches from the Linnhe loch, near Dunstaffnage Castle, and extends eastward to Bunawe, after which, taking a northern direction among the mountains, it terminates at Kinloch Etive. It is about twenty-two miles in length, varying from less than a quarter of a mile to more than a mile and a half in breadth, and is from 20 to 100 fathoms in depth. The bay affords safe anchorage to vessels not exceeding 100 tons; and at. Connel Ferry, near the western extremity, the tide rises to a height of 14 feet, forming in the narrow channel, which is not more than 200 yards in width, and obstructed by a ledge of rock, a foaming and apparently terrific rush of water, which the skill of the boatmen has rendered available, to facilitate the passage. There is another ferry across the lake at Bunawe, opposite to which is the small island of Elan-Duirnish, inhabited only by the family of the ferryman, and connected with the mainland, on the opposite shore, by a stone causeway, along which passes a road which afterwards diverges to Inverary and Glenorchy. Loch Creran issues from the Linnhe loch, near the island of Griska, and extends in a north-easterly direction, for about twelve miles, the breadth, on an average, being a mile and a half. It is about 15 fathoms in depth, and the spring tides rise from 15 to 16 feet; the bay, having a clayey bottom, affords good anchorage, and there is a ferry across the loch at Shean, in the narrowest part. It has several barren and uninhabited islets; and the island of Griska, which is well wooded, contains a considerable portion of pasture and arable land, forming a very compact farm.
   Among the chief rivers is the Awe, which, issuing from the loch of that name, and flowing between richly-wooded banks, after a course of about four miles, falls into Loch Etive, at Bunawe. The Etive, which has its source near Kings-house, in the parish, flows in a westerly and south-westerly direction, and, gradually expanding in its progress, after a course of nearly sixteen miles, falls into Loch Etive, near its head. The Kinglas has a course of about twelve miles to the south-west, flowing through a channel of rock and granite; its waters are remarkably transparent, and salmon are found in numbers. The Liver, which rises to the south of the Kinglas, flows for about six miles in a westerly direction, and falls into Loch Etive, at Inverliver. The Noe, which waters the glen of that name, has a course of four miles between rugged mountains, and, near its confluence with Loch Etive, forms a romantic cascade. The Creran, which has its source near Ben-Aulay, flows for nearly twelve miles, westerly, and, after passing through the inland lake of Fasnacloich, forms a channel navigable for small boats, and falls into the sea at the head of Loch Creran. The Ure has a course of about seven miles in a northerly direction, and, passing to the west of Glenure House, falls into the river Creran. The Tendal has a westerly course of about six miles, through the glen of that name, and forms several interesting cascades. The Buie, after a course of little more than three miles, and the Dergan, which rises in the heights of Glen-Salloch, both fall into Loch Creran; and the Esragan-More, and the Esragan-Beg, separated by the mountain of Ben-Vean, after a course of about five miles, fall into Loch Etive. The rivers generally, in their course, form numerous cascades, of which many, especially those of the mountainous districts, are incomparably beautiful.
   Though generally a pastoral district, there is still a considerable portion of arable land, estimated at about 1700 acres; the soil is chiefly a light loam, requiring much manure, but producing good crops of oats, bear, potatoes, and turnips. The farm-houses, with very few exceptions, are of an inferior order, thatched with straw, and ill adapted to the purpose. Great numbers of cattle and sheep are fed in the pastures, and considerable attention is paid to the rearing of stock; the cattle are of the Highland black breed, and on the dairy-farms, the cows are of the Ayrshire breed. The sheep, which were originally of the small white-faced kind, have been almost entirely superseded by the black-faced, and a few of the Cheviot breed have been recently introduced; the number of sheep reared annually is estimated at 32,000. About 2700 acres are woodland and plantations; the coppices are chiefly oak, ash, birch, and mountain-ash; and the plantations consist of ash, beech, elm, sycamore, larch, and Scottish and spruce firs, all of which are in a thriving state. The rateable annual value of Ardchattan and Muckairn is £10,987. Lead-ore has been discovered on the farm of Drimvuick, but not wrought; large boulders of granite are found in abundance, and on the upper shore of Loch Etive, a quarry has been opened by the Marquess of Breadalbane, from which are raised blocks of large size, and of very superior quality. The principal mansions in the parish are, Lochnell House, originally built by Sir Duncan Campbell, and improved, at an expense of £15,000, by General Campbell, his successor; Barcaldine House, recently enlarged, and beautifully situated in a richly-wooded demesne; Ardchattan Priory, a portion of the ancient convent, converted into a private residence; Inverawe House, pleasantly situated on the banks of the Awe, and surrounded with stately timber; and Drimvuick House, a pleasant residence. There is a post-office at Bunawe, about four miles distant from the church; the mail from Fort-William, likewise, passes through a portion of the parish, and facility of communication is afforded by good roads. A fair for cattle and horses, which is also a statute-fair, is held at Shean Ferry twice in the year.
   The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Lorn and synod of Argyll; the minister's stipend is £283. 3. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £8 per annum; patron, Archibald Campbell, Esq., of Lochnell. The church, erected in 1836, is a neat structure, situated on the north shore óf Loch Etive, and containing 430 sittings. There is a preaching station at Inverghiusachaw, in Glen-Etive, about 16 miles distant from the church, where a missionary supported by the Royal Bounty preaches once in three weeks. A place of worship in connexion with the Free Church has been recently built. The parochial school is attended by about 50 children; the master has a salary of £29. 16. 7., including the proceeds of a bequest producing £4. 3. 4., with a house and garden, and the school fees average about £11 per annum. There are some remains of Ardchattan Priory, founded in 1231, by Duncan Mc Coull, the supposed ancestor of the lords of Lorn, for monks of the Benedictine order; the house of the prior has been converted into a residence, by Mr. Campbell, the proprietor, and there are traces of the abbey and cloisters, with numerous monumental relics. Some remains also exist of the ancient churches of Bal-Moadan and Kilcolmkill: the Castle of Barcaldine, erected in the 15th century, by Sir Duncan Campbell, on a neck of land between Loch Creran and the bay of Ardmucknish, is rapidly falling into decay. There are remains of Druidical circles, of large columns of granite, and smaller circles of upright stones, on the summits of which are large slabs of granite; also stone coffins, in some of which have been found rude urns, containing human bones; and numerous tumuli, in one of which was an urn, containing calcined bones, and an arrow-head of flint. Many ancient coins have been likewise discovered, including several silver coins of the reign of Edward I., on the reverse of which were the names, London, Cambridge, and Oxford, in good preservation. The site of the old city of Beregonium, supposed to have been the ancient metropolis of Scotland, and concerning which so many conflicting accounts have been written, and so many fabulous legends propagated by tradition, is referred to an eminence between the ferries of Connel and Shean, called Dun Mac Sniachan, on which are the remains of a vitrified fort. The Rev. Colin Campbell, an eminent mathematician and metaphysician, was minister of the parish in 1667.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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  • Ardchattan — (Ardchattan and Muckairn) is a parish within the county of Argyll, Scotland. It lies north of Oban, bordering Loch Etive.Its most famous landmark is Ardchattan Priory, founded as a Valliscaulian priory around the year 1230. The priory s ruins and …   Wikipedia

  • Ardchattan Priory — The Ardchattan Priory was a Valliscaulian monastic community in Ardchattan, Argyll. It was founded in 1230 by Duncan MacDougal, Lord of Argyll. From the early 1300s, the Prior of Ardchattan held the chantership of Lismore Cathedral. In April 1510 …   Wikipedia

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  • Prior of Ardchattan — The Prior of Ardchattan (later Commendator of Ardchattan) was the head of the Valliscaulian, and then Cistercian, monastic community of Ardchattan Priory, Argyll. It was founded in 1230 by Duncan MacDougal, Lord of Argyll. In April 1510 it was… …   Wikipedia

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  • Donnchadh of Argyll — (Duncan of Argyll) Born before 1175 Died Between 1244 and 1248 Other names Donnchad mac Dubgaill Donnchadh of Lorne Title Lord of Argyll, Lord of Lorne …   Wikipedia

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  • Valliscaulian Order — • Founded towards the end of the twelfth century by Viard, a lay brother of the Carthusian priory of Loubigny, in the Diocese of Langres Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Valliscaulian Order     Valliscaulian Order …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Muckairn —    MUCKAIRN, lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Ardchattan, district of Lorn, county of Argyll, 12 miles (E. by N.) from Oban; containing, with the villages of Stonefield and Calnadaluck, 960 inhabitants. This parish, of which the name …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland