Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Kiltarlity and Convinth

Kiltarlity and Convinth, a united parish of N Inverness-shire, whose church stands near the left bank of Belladrum Burn, 4½ miles S by W of Beauly under which there is a post office of Kiltarlity. Bounded NW and N by Kilmorack, E by Kirkhill and Inverness, and S by Urquhart-Glenmoriston, it has an utmost length from NE to SW of 30¼ miles ,† a varying width of 32/3 furlongs and 101/8 miles, and an area of 1241/3 square miles or 79,5791/3 acres, of which 1347¾ are water. The river Glass, formed by the confluence of the Affric and Amhuinn Deabhaidh, 2¾ miles SW of Glenaffric Hotel, flows 12 miles north-eastward-chiefly along the boundary with, but for 4½ miles through, Kilmorack parish-till, near Erchless Castle, it unites with the Farrar to form the river Beauly, which itself winds 12 miles east-north-eastward, mainly along the northern boundary, till at Lovat Bridge it passes off from Kiltarlity. Of a number of streams that flow to these two rivers, the chief is Belladrum Burn, running 71/8 miles northward, till it falls into the Beauly just below Beaufort Castle; and of fully a score of lakes the largest are Loch a' Bhruthaich (9 x 3½ furl.; 942 feet), Loch Neaty (5 x 12/3 furl.; 822 feet), Loch nan Eun (5 x 2 furl.; 1700 feet), and Loch na Bemne Baine (7¾ x 3 furl.; 1650 feet). Almost everywhere hilly or mountainous, the surface declines in the extreme NE to 18 feet above sea-level, and rises thence to Tor Mor (487 feet), Meall Mor (1316), Creag Ard Mhor (933), the eastern shoulder (2032) of Carn nam Pollan, Carn nam Bad (1499), Clach-bheinn (1887), Carn a' Choire Chruaidh (2830), and Carn a' Choire Chairbh (2827), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. Such is a bare outline of the general features of Kiltarlity, whose special beauties, antiquities, and mansions are noticed under Aigas, Beauly, Dhruim, Glass, Glenconvinth, Strathglass, Beaufort Castle, Belladrum, Erchless Castle, Eskadale, and Guisaciaan. Devonian rocks predominate in the lower tracts; gneiss and granite in the uplands. Serpentine and granular limestone occur in small quantities on the south-eastern border; and specimens of asbestos and rock crystal are often found upon the hills. The soil of the arable lands is mostly thin, light, extremely hard, and of a reddish colour. Strathglass and the NE corner of the parish are beautifully wooded. Among the antiquities are numerous Caledonian stone circles and some vitrified forts; and there are three considerable caves at Cugie, Easter Main, and Corriedow, of which the last, in a glen on the SE border, is said to have afforded refuge for some days to Prince Charles Edward. Kiltarlity is in the presbytery of Inverness and synod of Moray; the living is worth £332. The parish church, on a rising-ground amid a clump of tall trees, was rebuilt in 1829, and contains 790 sittings. There are also Established mission chapels of Erchless and Guisachan, Free churches of Kiltarlity and Strathglass, and St Mary's Roman Catholic church of Eskadale (1826; 600 sittings); whilst six schools- Culburnie, Glenconvinth, Guisachan, Struy, Tomnacross, and Eskadale-with total accommodation for 726 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 222, and grants amounting to £240. Valuation (1860) £9391, (1882) £11,610. Pop. (1801) 2588, (1841) 2881, (1861) 2839, (1871) 2537, (1881) 2134, of whom 1721 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur., shs. 83, 73, 72, 1878-81.

'We have a sight trace of the Columban church in the eastern districts of the northern Picts in the Irish Annais. which record in 616 the death of Tolorggain or Talarican, who gives his name to the great district of Cilltalargyn, or Kiltarlity ' (Skene's Celtic Scotland, ii. 153, 1877).

† Near Invercannich, however. a strip of Kilmorack. ¾ mile wide at the narrowest, cuts this parish in two. It may also be noted that every earlier description of Kiltarlity has erred in assigning to it Glenaffric. with Lochs Affric and Beneveian, which really belong to Kilmorack.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a united parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 4th order divisions")
Administrative units: Kiltarlity and Convinth ScoP       Inverness Shire ScoCnty
Place: Kiltarlity

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