Glen Shira

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Image from Inveraray facing north to the mouth of Glen Shira.
Image from mouth of Glen Shira looking northwards up the glen. Note the dubh loch in the foreground.
Rob Roy MacGregor's house upper Glen Shira. image by 21st Century Pict.

Glen Shira, Gaelic Gleann Siara, "glen of the eternal river" Argyll at the northern end of Loch Fyne, just to the north of Inveraray. It is named after the River Shira, which runs through the centre of the glenn from the Sron Mor "Nose Big" power station dam at the northern end for about 7 miles down to and through Loch Dubh "Black Loch" at the base of the glen and then into Loch Shira a small inlet on Loch Fyne.

The Glen is mostly taken up by a sheep farm, run by a resident of the glen. There are numerous houses within the glen, including Elrigbeg (Eileirig Beag), Elrig More (Eileirig Mór), Kilblaan and Drimlee (which is at the northern end). There is one single-track road which leads up the glen, to the damn; this road splits unto an access road (connected across the River Shira by a dangerous bridge) which leads to Drimlee.[1]

Glen Shira is a Special Area of Conservation within the UK. It is bordered by Beinn Bhuidhe on the Glen Fyne side.

The Glen lends it name to the sea loch at its base which in turn lends its name to the MV Loch Shira.

Rob Roy MacGregor lived in Glen Shira for a short time under the protection of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll. In 1716 John Campbell 2nd Duke of Argyll also known as Red John of the Battles "Iain Ruaidh nan Cath" negotiated an amnesty and protection for Rob and granted him permission to build a house in upper Glen Shira for the surrendering up of weapons. "traditionally the story goes that Argyll only received a large cache of rusty old weapons". A sporran and dirk handle belonging to Rob Roy can still be seen at Inveraray Castle.

There's also a mention of Rob Roy constructing a fank or fold for sheep or cattle in the Glen. Rob Roy probably only stayed here for a few years. Some time after the 1719 Jacobite Rebellion around 1720 Rob moved to Monachyle Tuarach by Loch Doine and some time before 1722 to Inverlochlarig Beag on the Braes of Balquhidder.

Building circa 1716, OS Map sheet 56, Grid Ref; 151 170.

Note: The small footbridge on the OS map across the Brannie Burn to Rob Roy MacGregor's house is now long gone.

Asda also once produced a whisky called Glen Shira, although this had no connection to the actual glen.


  1. ^ Renton Family, Glen Shira

2.Rob Roy MacGregor,His Life and Times, by W H Murray; Published by Conongate books Ltd 3ed ed 1996.