Strachur (Scottish Gaelic: Srath Chura) and Strathlachlan (Scottish Gaelic: Srath Lachlainn) are united parishes in the west side of Cowal, Argyll, Scotland. Cowal is the large peninsula situated between Loch Long to the east and Loch Fyne to the west and bordered to the north by the arterial road A83. Strachur is located 7 miles south of the A83, linking Loch Lomond and A82 to Inveraray, Lochgilphead and Campbeltown, and is 23 miles north of Dunoon, the main town of the Cowal peninsula. Strachur has a Post Office, the two churches of Strachur and Strathlachlan, a hotel/bar, the well-known Creggans Inn, and a local bar, the Clachan. The village Memorial and New halls host events local and for the whole of Cowal and beyond. The local smiddy, which closed as a blacksmiths in the 1950s after over 150 years and four generations of the Montgomery family of smiths, is now the Smiddy Museum, open from Easter to 30 September. Local transport is by bus with a regular service between Dunoon and Inveraray, and Dunoon and Carrick Castle, situated south of Lochgoilhead on Loch Goil.
The name 'Strachur' comes from the Gaelic for 'Valley (srath) of the Cur' - Cur being the name of the river flowing from the hills east of Strachur village, turning south to flow into Loch Eck. Access to Inveraray used to be via the ferry from St Catherine's just north of Strachur. This ferry closed in the 1960s.
District & boundaries
The area around Strachur borders the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The parish is bounded along its north-west side by Loch Fyne - Strachur forming its north-western district, and Strathlachlan its south-western one; and it is bounded on other sides by the parishes of Lochgoilhead, Kilmun, Dunoon, and Kilmodan. It is mostly uplands, and altitudes rise to 3000 feet.
Loch Eck touches the parish for three miles on the south-east.
The parish church of Strachur dates from 1789 and can accommodate 400. That of Strathlachlan was built in 1792 and can hold 150. The parishes were united in 1950.
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By tradition, Strachur has been held as one of the original strongholds of Clan Campbell, and in 1870 the principal landowners of the parish were Campbell of Strachur and McLachlan of that ilk. The principal country houses there at that time were Strachur Park, Castle Lachlan, Strachurmore, Glenshellis, Balliemore, and Glenbranter. Strachur House was bought by Fitzroy MacLean and is currently the residence of his son, Charles MacLean. The MacLachlan family still reside on the Strathlachlan estate. The walls of Old Castle Lachlan are currently being restored. Younger members of the MacLachlan clan currently run Inver Cottage, one of Argyll's Seafood Trail restaurants, with its lovely views over Loch Fyne and the old castle keep.
Probably the most famous “son of Strachur” was John Campbell of Strachur, although Sir Harry Lauder was the laird of the Glenbranter estate, between Lock Eck and Strachur, in the first half of the twentieth century. Much of the Glenbranter estate was subsequently acquired by the Forestry Commission, who encourage public access to the land. During the 1930s, the Ministry of Labour opened a work camp on the estate for young unemployed men. Known as Instructional Centres, the camp regime sought to 'harden' the unemployed, many of whom came from industrial West of Scotland and had previously worked in mining or other industries hit by depression, and prepare them for work elsewhere. The Glenbranter camp hit the headlines in 1935 when the trainees organised public walk-outs, and again in 1936 when there was a mass meeting to protest against conditions.
During World War II, Glenbranter House and grounds were taken over by Combined Operations. It became a landing craft signals school & was designated as a Royal Navy shore establishment & named 'HMS Pasco'.
Strachur is also the name of the local Shinty team. They reached the Camanachd Cup final in 1983, losing to local rivals Kyles Athletic 3-2. They have also won the shinty world cup eight times.
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For the mid-19th century:
Strachur (101 houses):
- 1831 was 633
- 1851 was 518
Strathlachlan (167 houses):
- 1831 was 450
- 1861 was 872
Strachur Primary School is a small school averaging 60 pupils, it has three classrooms and a fair sized playground. The school does work for the community such as: beach cleans at Loch Fyne, litter pick ups around the village, and various work with the Loch Lomond Park Rangers and GRAB Trust. 
Strachur Medical Practice covers a massive geographical area reaching from Cairndow to Strathlachlan. As of 2012 the GP claimed his practice was close to bankruptcy because of NHS funding changes.
- http://www.combinedops.com/ Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin Marlow R.N. 'Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy', Maritime Books 1992 & 2000.
- "UK | Scotland | Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West | Village hosts swamp soccer games". BBC News. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
- "Strachur Primary School Website". Strachur.argyll-bute.sch.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
- "Argyll News: Strachur Post Office under threat of closure". For Argyll. 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
- "Reduced Hours At Strachur Post Office". Dunoon-observer.com. 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
- "‘Bankrupt’ Practice Meeting". dunoon-observer.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
- Wilson, Rev.John Marius, The Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, Fullarton & Co., London & Edinburgh, n/d but c1872, p. 761.
- Wallace, William, Harry Lauder in the Limelight, Lewes, Sussex, 1988.
- Field, John, Learning through Labour: Training, unemployment and the state, 1890-1939, University of Leeds, 1992
- Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin Marlow R.N. 'Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy', Maritime Books 1992 & 2000.
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