In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Argyll like this:
Argyllshire, a maritime co. in the W. of Scotland, including nearly all the islands of the Inner Hebrides. In extreme length the mainland extends about 112 miles S. from the boundary with Inverness-shire to the North Channel, and approaches the opposite coast of Ireland within a distance of 13 miles. ...
Area, 3213.1 sq. m., or 2,092,458 ac. Pop. 76,468, or 24 persons to each sq. m. The mainland is much indented by picturesque and far-reaching sea-lochs, which render its coast-line proportionately very great. The peninsula of Kintyre extends about 55 miles S. from the Crinan Canal to the Mull of Kintyre, and is from 5 miles to 10 miles broad. Ardnamurchan Point is the most westerly projection on the mainland of Scotland. The principal sea-lochs are Eil, Linnhe, Leven, Etive, and Firth of Lorne in the NW.; and Fyne, Striven, Long, and Goil branching from the Firth of Clyde. The sea views along the W. coast and among the islands are magnificent, while the loch and mountain scenery is everywhere gland and picturesque. The surface is nearly all rugged and mountainous, the low and arable land lying chiefly round the coasts. The highest summit is Ben Cruachan, alt. 3611 ft., in the NW. of the mainland; another lofty summit, Ben More, in the isl. of Mull, rises to an alt. of 3185 ft. The largest lake is Loch Awe, which stretches for upwards of 20 miles S. from the base of Ben Cruachan. The chief islands are Mull, Islay, Jura, Tyree, Coll, Rum, Colonsay, and many smaller. The arable land constitutes about one-eighth of the entire area. Slate is extensively quarried and exported. The fisheries are very important, especially the herring fishery on Loch Fyne. There are several large distilleries in Islay and at Campbeltown. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) Railway communication extends through Perthshire to Oban, on the NW. of Argyllshire. The co. comprises the dists. of Lochiel, Ardgour, Sunart, Ardnamuchan, and Morven in the NW. detached section; Lorn, Argyll, Cowal, Knapdale, and Kintyre in the main body; 37 pars., parts of 3 other pars., the parl. and police burghs of Campbeltown, Inveraray, and Oban (part of the Ayr Burghs), and the police burghs of Dunoon, Lochgilphead, and Tobermory. It returns 1 member to Parl.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Argyll | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 31st March 2017
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