|— County (until circa 1890) —|
|• Total||8,055 km2 (3,110 sq mi)|
Argyll (// or //), archaically Argyle (Earra-Ghàidheal in modern Gaelic pronounced [ˈaːr̴əɣɛː.əɫ̪]), is a region of western Scotland corresponding with most of the part of ancient Dál Riata that was located on the island of Great Britain, and in a historical context can be used to mean the entire western coast between the Mull of Kintyre and Cape Wrath.
Between 1890 and 1975 it was a county for local government purposes.
Argyll's neighbouring counties are Inverness-shire, Perthshire, Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Bute. Renfrewshire and Ayrshire are the other side of the Firth of Clyde. Bute is a county of islands in the firth.
The Small Isles of Muck/Muick, Rum/Rhum, Canna and Sanday were part of the county, until they were transferred to Inverness-shire in 1891 by the boundary commission appointed under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889.
The island of Egg/Eigg was already in Inverness-shire.
The name derives from Old Gaelic airer Goídel (border region of the Gaels). The early thirteenth century author of De Situ Albanie explains that "the name Arregathel means margin (ie, border region) of the Scots or Irish, because all Scots and Irish are generally called Gattheli (i.e. Gaels), from their ancient warleader known as Gaithelglas."
However, the word airer naturally carries the meaning of the word 'coast' when applied to maritime regions, so the placename can also be translated as "Coast of [the] Gaels". Woolf has suggested that the name Airer Goídel replaced the name Dál Riata when the 9th-century Norse conquest split Irish Dál Riata and the islands of Alban Dál Riata off from mainland Alban Dál Riata; the mainland area, renamed Airer Goídel, would have contrasted with the offshore islands of Innse Gall, literally "islands of the foreigners", so-called because during the 9th to 12th centuries they were ruled by Norse-speaking Gall-Gaels.
The use of the County of Argyll for local government purposes ceased in 1975 with its Administrative section transferred between the District Council Regions of Highland and Strathclyde.
The Ardnamurchan, Ardgour, Ballachulish, Duror, Glencoe, Kinlochleven and Morvern council areas of Argyll were detached to become part of Lochaber Council District, in Highland. They remained in Highland following the 1996 revision.
Towns and villages
- Lochgilphead later claimed to be the county town, as the seat of local government for the county from the nineteenth century.
However, neither town was the largest settlement geographically nor in terms of population.
Argyll's largest towns were (and are) :
There was an Argyllshire constituency of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1983 (renamed Argyll in 1950). The Argyll and Bute constituency was created when the Argyll constituency was abolished.
- Patrick MacKellar, (1717–1778), born in Argyll, military engineer, considered the most competent engineer in America.
- Baron Robertson of Port Ellen KT, GCMG, FRSA, FRSE, PC (born 12 April 1946, George Islay MacNeill Robertson,) is a British Labour politician who was the tenth Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, between October 1999 and January 2004.
The Campbell clan. The Campbell clan was the main clan of this region. The Campbell clan hosted the long line of dukes of argyll.
The Lamont clan. Historically both allied and feuded with the Campbell clan, cumulating in the Dunoon Massacre. In the 19th century the clan chief sold his lands and relocated to Australia, where the current chief resides.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2013)|
Argyll is the historic home of Clan Campbell of Argyll.
Rosemary Sutcliff's 1965 novel The Mark of the Horse Lord is set in Earra Gael, i.e. the Coast of the Gael, wherein the Dal Riada undergo an internal struggle for control of royal succession, and an external conflict to defend their frontiers against the Caledones.
- Woolf, Alex "The Age of the Sea-Kings: 900–1300" in Omand (2006) pp. 94–95
- Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Argyll and Bute|
- Omand, Donald (ed.) (2006) The Argyll Book. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-480-0