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Villages of Northern Argyll
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Folklore & Mythology
John Donald
Publication Date
09 March 2006
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited

Villages of Northern Argyll

by Mary Withall - Find out more about the author

Argyll's historical importance goes back for thousands of years. As the centre of the kingdom of Dalriada the area was of seminal importance in terms of Gaelic culture, and was also of extreme significance in the spread of Celtic Christianity.

Geographically, Northern Argyll is a region of wild coastline, open moorland and rugged mountains separated by deep lochs and fast flowing rivers, with little cultivable ground. There are considerable mineral resources and the forests have always been coveted by Lowlanders, but lines of communication are difficult and were, until recently, often dangerous. Even so, for 2,000 years and more people have struggled to make a living here and this book explains how, and why.

In a kaleidoscope of historical fact, folklore and reminiscence, Mary Withall explains the existence of some of the county's settlements which, set down in a bleak if beautiful landscape miles from anywhere, appear to the eye of the stranger with no apparent reason. Based on a whole range of primary and secondary research, including parish records and other historical documents, it is a fascinating insight into the history of human settlement in this beautiful corner of Scotland.

Lochgoilhead and Kilmorich * Inveraray * Craignish and Kilmelford * Kilbrandon and Kilchattan * Kilmore and Kilbridie * Muckairn and Kentallen * Barcaldine and Benderloch * Lismore and Appin * Morvern and Ardnamurchan * Glencoe and Ballachulish * Glenorchy and Innishail

Mary Withall was born in London and was a science teacher for many years. On her retirement in 1988 she moved to Argyll and began a second career as a historical novelist. Her novels include Beacon on the Shore (1995), The Gorse in Bloom (1996), The Poppy Orchard (1999) and The Flight of the Cormorants (2000). In addition to her writing, she is also archivist of the Scottish Slate Islands Heritage Trust and author of The Island that Roofed the World.