About the village
Kilmory (Kilmorie) is derived from the Gaelic – Killmhuir . The district of Kilmorie stretches in the east from Craigdhu to Corriecravie in the west, the main road linking the villages of East and West Bennan, Shannochie, Lagg and Sliddery. The area has a reputation of being the home of giants. Glen Scorrisdale is reputed to have been the home of one imaginatively nick-named Scorrie, and Ossian is supposed to have been buried at Claughaig Farm.
In 1357 the patronage of the parish of Kilmorie was granted to Sir John Monteith, Lord of Arran, and it is connection with this that there is mention of a chapel at Kilmorie. It is thought to have existed about 300 yards up the side of the Sliddery Burn from the bridge. Below this is a pool still called the Churchyard Pool. The manse at Kilmory was built around 1690, was first roofed with thatch, but after a fire in 1710 was re-roofed with slate. Part of the old fabric still remains and it is the oldest inhabited manse in Scotland.
Much of the coastline is wild and rocky, but where there are beaches, they are beautiful. It was off these rocky shores that on 28th December, 1908, the ship “Bessie Arnold” ran onto the rocks in a blizzard. With the exception of the Mate all the crew perished, and it was the figurehead of the ship that served as their headstone in the churchyard. The figure head has been restored and now rests inside the Church.
The Southend has changed dramatically over the past two hundred years and within the past two or three generations is becoming a forest with a fringe of farms around the coast. The older generation of Kilmorie folk can recall a time when the interior of the island was well populated with clachans. Many have disappeared and only the names are left; Ballygonochie, Strathgael, Corriehaim and Gargadale. Farming has seen many changes and farmers have diversified into tourism, converting barns, byres and ruins into holiday cottages.
There used to be two Mills in the area, at Torrylin and Glenree., and a distillery at Lagg. Now industry is still farming, with the addition, in 1946, by The Milk Marketing Board, of the creamery at Torrylin. The cheese produced regularly wins awards. The Village Hall, essential to all Arran communities, was built in 1934, and like all the others, well used.
Kilmorie is a sprawling farming community, with a history of people and places intermingling through the centuries. To summarise it in one page is impossible, you have to stay there, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the softer scenery of the Southend, with its sweeping views of the sea and sky. Lots more information here.