Lochgilphead (//; Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Loch Gilb [kʲʰan̪ˠ l̪ˠɔx ˈkʲilip]) is a town and former burgh in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, with a population of around 2,300 people. It is the administrative centre of Argyll and Bute. The village lies at the end of Loch Gilp (a branch of Loch Fyne) and lies on the banks of the Crinan Canal. Lochgilphead sits on the A83, with Ardrishaig 2 miles (3 km) to the south and Inveraray 24 miles (39 km) to the north-east; Oban lies 37 miles (60 km) north on the A816.
View along Argyll Street from the War Memorial
|OS grid reference|
|• Edinburgh||87 mi (140 km)|
|• London||380 mi (612 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||PA30, PA31|
Lochgilphead's facilities include a swimming pool, sports centre, fishing tackle shop, three banks, Co-op Food supermarket, two petrol stations, three homewear and hardware shops, a Renault dealership, a community hospital run by the local GPs (with an A&E department and a psychiatric hospital), a 9-hole golf course, bowling club, a hydrotherapy pool, a regional landfill site at Dunchologan and Lochgilphead High School.
As a planned settlement, Lochgilphead was created in 1790, shortly after the completion of a road from Inveraray to Campbeltown. After the completion of the Crinan Canal in 1801, the town became more important as a link across the Kintyre peninsula. The town was linked to Oban, when a road was completed in 1830. In 1831 a pier was built, helping to link Lochgilphead with Glasgow and other major towns.
In 1975 Lochgilphead was chosen as the administrative headquarters of the Argyll and Bute District Council as part of local government reorganisation, due to its central location.
Lochgilphead has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb). As with most of the West Highlands, there are low sunshine levels and high amounts of rainfall, with around 1,150 sunshine hours and nearly 2,000 mm (80 in) of rainfall annually. The nearest weather station to Lochgilphead is at Lephinmore, which is 8 miles (13 km) to the north-east and 9 m (30 ft) above sea level.
|Climate data for Lephinmore (9 m asl, averages 1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.0
|Average low °C (°F)||1.8
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||240.0
|Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||21.2||14.8||18.5||13.7||12.7||15.2||15.9||15.6||18.8||19.2||18.7||18.4||202.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||37.4||59.6||82.5||141.3||180.0||157.9||138.3||119.0||86.4||71.6||47.2||28.3||1,149.5|
|Source: Met Office|
Lochgilphead Joint Campus is sited on the outskirts of the town and has a capacity of 727, with the Secondary School section drawing pupils from the wider Mid Argyll area. The Campus opened in October 2007, replacing the separate Primary School and High School.
Argyll College has two sites in Lochgilphead, one in Lorne Street, and the purpose built Construction Skill Centre in Kilmory Industrial Estate.
Lochgilphead settlement profile 2014 - Highlands and Islands EnterpriseEdit
Total population was 3,825 in 2011, an increase of 3.2 per cent from 2001. By industry of employment, a higher share of employment in construction, public administration and defence, and health and social work than the Highlands and Islands and Scotland. By occupation, a higher share of employment in caring, leisure and other services, and sales and customer services than the Highlands and Islands and Scotland. Unemployment rates have increased to above the Argyll and the Islands, Highlands and Islands and Scotland rates. The annualised Jobseekers Allowance claimant count rate in 2013 was 4.0 per cent in Lochgilphead, 3.2 per cent in Argyll and the Islands, 2.4 per cent in Highlands and Islands and 3.7 per cent across Scotland. There is a smaller proportion of the adult population with no qualifications compared to Argyll and the Islands, the Highlands and Islands and Scotland, and more qualified with degree-level qualifications.
There are two hospitals in Lochgilphead:
- The Argyll and Bute Hospital, which services include Acute Admission ward, Psychiatric ICU, Rehabilitation Services, Adult Psychotherapy Services and Mental Health Outpatient Services. It also has Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy (Mental Health), a Learning Disability Service, Advocacy Service, Clinical Psychology, Substance Misuse Team and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
- The Mid Argyll Community Hospital and Integrated Care Centre, which has a Community Casualty Department, Radiography Department, GP Practice, Acute/Rehabilitation Inpatient Ward, Social Work Department and AHPs, with associated services including Dementia Services, Maternity Unit, Dental and Community Nursing Service and Child Health
Sports and leisureEdit
- Mid Argyll Community Pool – a 20 m × 8 m (66 ft × 26 ft) social enterprise swimming pool.
- Mid Argyll Sports Centre – a sports centre with a multi use-games hall, dance studio, Squash Court, Gymnasium, CV Fitness Suite and a Resistance Room, as well as outdoor facilities, including full-size G2 floodlight football/hockey pitch, which can be subdivided into training pitches and four tennis courts, as well as two grass training pitches.
- Lochgilphead Golf Club, which has a 9-hole course, which was designed by Dr I. McCamond.
- Lochgilphead Bowling Club, bowling green and clubhouse based at Bank Park.
- Lochgilphead Library – library based at Manse Brae that has six computers for free public use, a dedicated children’s area, full disabled access and also a baby-changing facility.
- Cycling – there are many cycle routes in the Lochgilphead area to cater for every level, from the Crinan Canal Towpath to the purpose-built Fire Tower Mountain Bike Trail, with a long, hard forestry climb linking on to some single track which includes berms, jumps, drop-offs and a section of north shore (raised wooden platform).
- Shinty MacCrae Park – the town's shinty pitch, and the home of Kilmory Camanachd Shinty Club.
- Putting – the Front Green is home to an 18-hole putting green, which operates seasonally.
- Fishing – there are lots of different fishing locations around Lochgilphead which cater for sea, river and loch fishing.
- Mid Argyll Motocross Club have a track and hold events (including Scottish Championship) at Achnashelloch.
Community and cultureEdit
In July 1982, Lochgilphead competed against teams from Perth and Oban in the then highly popular BBC Television It's a Knockout, presented by Stuart Hall. The town's team won their round and later competed in the international version of the series, 'Jeux Sans Frontieres', which was recorded in Switzerland.
Dalriada Provincial ModEdit
The town annually hosts the Dalriada Provincial Mod each September. The event is a Gaelic festival organised by the local branch of An Comunn Gàidhealach, which provides opportunities for people of all ages to perform across a range of competitive disciplines including Gaelic music and song, highland dancing, instrumental, drama, sport and literature.
In the World War Two film, 633 Squadron, Lochgilphead's main street features briefly in an aerial shot, as the bombers of 633 Squadron fly over the unnamed town en route to the target in Norway. The James Bond film From Russia with Love used locations in Lochgilphead for shots. The local cinema was used to watch screen rushes each day for the cast and crew.
Mid Argyll Music FestivalEdit
The town is one of the venues for the Mid Argyll Music Festival, which runs for around 2 weeks annually.
Lochgilphead Lantern Parade And Firework DisplayEdit
This annual winter event had developed into one of the major highlights in the Argyll area, attracting crowds from near and far. However, the Lantern Parade did not occur in November 2014 after the organising committee responsible for previous events announced they would not continue in May 2014.
Invention and discoveryEdit
The Argyll Turbo GT sportscar was built by Bob Henderson in Manse Brae.
Mid Argyll ShowEdit
Lochgilphead hosts The Mid-Argyll Agricultural Show, which is a major event held annually on the second Saturday in August.
- The singer Sydney MacEwan had built, and was for a time parish priest of St Margaret's Church in the town.
- The footballer Neil Dewar was born in the town.
- Martha Payne, the subject of a censorship controversy over a blog.
- Legion d’honneur recipient James (Hamish) Craig.
- Former Deputy Chief Constable of Argyll Police Force, Norman Macdonald, resident in the town and Gaelic activist and poet.
- "Comparative Population Profile: Lochgilphead Locality". Scotland's Census Results On-Line. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Historic Environment Scotland. "KILMORY CASTLE (Category B) (LB11039)". Retrieved 21 December 2018.
- "Lephinmore climate information". Met Office. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
- "Argyllshire Advertiser". 23 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
- for Lochgilphead
- The Argyllshire Advertiser for Lochgilphead and Mid Argyll news
- It's A Knockout and Jeux Sans Frontières 1982 history
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lochgilphead.|