, archaically Argyle
in modern Gaelic
), 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 seaboard between the Mull of Kintyre
and Cape Wrath
The early thirteenth century author of De Situ Albanie explains that "the name Arregathel means margin of the Scots or Irish, because all Scots and Irish are generally called Gattheli [=Gaels], from their ancient warleader known as Gaithelglas." However, it is often understood to derive from Earra-Ghàidheal, "East Gaels". Argyll was a medieval Bishopric too, with its cathedral at Lismore, as well as an early modern Earldom and Duchy, the Duchy of Argyll.
Today Argyll is a registration county for property.
County and district
Argyll (sometimes anglicised
) was a county
until 1975, when Scottish counties were abolished. At the time of abolition the county had boundaries as shown in the map. Argyll's neighbouring counties were Inverness-shire
. Renfrewshire and Ayrshire were the other side of the Firth of Clyde
. Bute was a county of islands in the firth
The county town was historically Inveraray, which is still the seat of the Duke of Argyll. Lochgilphead later claimed to be the county town, as the seat of local government for the county from the nineteenth century. Other places in the former county were Oban, Campbeltown, Dunoon and Inveraray.
The Small Isles 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.
In 1975 the County of Argyll was abolished, with its area being split between Highland and Strathclyde Regions. A local government district called Argyll and Bute was formed in the Strathclyde region, including most of Argyll and the Isle of Bute from former county of the same name. The Ardnamurchan, Ballachulish and Kinlochleven areas of Argyll became part of Lochaber District, in Highland.
In 1996 a new unitary council area of Argyll and Bute was created, with a change to boundaries to include part of the former Strathclyde district of Dumbarton.
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 Argyllshire, military engineer, considered the most competent engineer in America.