Lochgilphead of Scotland

 Lochgilphead E Kilmory Woodland Park D Crinan Canal Lochgilphead, as the name suggests, stands at the head of Loch Gilp, a small inlet of Loch Fyne. It is a planned town, laid out in about 1790, and is now the main shopping centre for a wide area known as Knapdale, that portion of Argyll from which the long ‘arm’ of the Mull of Kintyre descends. 

Knapdale is steeped in history, and though it now seems to be on the edge of things, at one time it was at the crossroads of a great communications network. Ireland was to the southwest, the Isle of Man was to the south, the Hebrides were to the north, the bulk of Scotland itself was to the east, and all could be easily reached by boat. Kilmory Woodland Park, off the A83, surrounds Kilmory Castle, which has been turned into local government offices. The park contains many rare trees, plus a garden and woodland walks. 

The Crinan Canal (known as Scotland’s most beautiful shortcut) starts at Ardrishaig, a couple of miles south of Lochgiplhead, and skirts the town as it heads across the peninsula towards the village of Crinan on the west coast. Work started on the canal in 1794. However, it was beset with problems, and didn’t open, albeit in an incomplete form, until 1801. By 1804 it still wasn’t complete and had debts of £140,000. Then, in 1805, some of the canal banks collapsed and had to be rebuilt. It was finally reopened in 1809, though in 1815 Thomas Telford, the civil engineer,

 inspected it and declared that even more work needed doing. In 1817 it reopened again, this time to everyone’s satisfaction. It is nine miles long, has a mean depth of nine feet six inches, and rises to 65 feet above sea level. It has, in this short length, 15 locks. In 1847 it got the royal seal of approval when Queen Victoria sailed its full length as she was making a tour of the Highlands. Perhaps the most unusual craft to have used it were midget submarines during World War II.

Around Lochgilphead DUNADD 4 miles N of Lochgilphead off the A816 C Dunadd G St Columba Dunadd (Historic Scotland) is one of the most important historical sites in Scotland. 

This great rock rises to a height of 175 feet from a flat area of land called Crinan Moss, and is where the ancient kings of Dalriada had their royal fort and capital. From here, they ruled a kingdom that took in all of modern day Argyll. It was founded by immigrants from Antrim, in present day Northern Ireland, in the 5th century, and gradually grew in importance. 

With them from Ireland they brought that great icon of Scottish nationhood, the Stone of Destiny. A climb to the top of Dunadd gives a wonderful view over the surrounding countryside, which is the reason the fort was established here in the first place. Parts of the ramparts can still be seen, and near the top, on a flat outcrop of rock, are some carvings of a boar, a footprint, a bowl and some ogham writing, which may have been connected to the inauguration of the Dalriadan kings. The kings of Dalriada were special. Before this time, kings were looked upon more as great tribal leaders and warriors than as men set apart to rule a kingdom. But one man changed all that - St Columba. 

His monastery on Iona was within Dalriada, and on that island he conducted the first Christian ‘coronation’ in Britain. In 574AD he anointed Aidan king of the Dalriadans in a ceremony that relied on Biblical precedents. It also contained an element that is still used in today’s coronations, when the assembled crowds shouted out ‘God Save the King!’ in unison. 

There is no doubt that Aidan sat on the Stone of Destiny during the ceremony. Though it may now look austere and lonely, Dunadd, in its heyday, would have been a busy place. Excavations have shown that it traded with the kingdoms of present day England and the Continent. When the king was in residence, great flags would have fluttered from the wooden buildings, colourful banners and pennants would have hung from the ramparts and soldiers would have stood guard at its entrance. 

The River Add, no more than a couple of feet deep nowadays, winds its way round the base of the rock before entering the sea at Loch Crinan. In olden days, before Crinan Moss was drained for agriculture, the river would have been navigable right up to the rock itself. Boats would have been tied up at its banks, and there would have been a small township to house the king’s retainers.

 There would also have been storerooms, stables and workshops where jewellery and weapons were crafted, cloth woven and pots made. The other great kingdom north of the Forth of Clyde was the kingdom of the Picts, and for years it and Dalriada traded, fought, mingled and intermarried. 

Eventually, in 843AD, because of this intermarriage, Kenneth MacAlpin, king of Dalriada, also inherited the throne of the Picts. By this time the centre of power had moved to the west because of  constant Norse raids, so Kenneth MacAlpin set off for Scone in present day Perthshire (taking the Stone of Destiny with him) and established his capital there. Thus was born the kingdom of Scotland, or Alba as it was known then, though it would be another 200 years before the kingdoms of the Lowlands - the Angles of the Lothians and the British of Strathclyde - were incorporated as well. Dunadd survived for a few years after Kenneth left, but it was no longer an important place, and by the 12th century was largely abandoned

legal consultations and travel advisor in the States and within UK

Media solutions , Media company , online classes , learn german , learn english , perfect language , blood cord , rehab , rehabiliations , rehabilitation center , magazitta

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form