Saturday, 22 December 2007

Ancestry Tours of Oban Scotland

Oban, Scotland, is an important ferry port, being the main terminal for Caledonian MacBrayne. Oban is often known as the Gateway to the Scottish Isles, with ferries sailing to the islands of Lismore, Colonsay, Islay, Coll, Tiree, Craignure on Mull, and to Castlebay in Barra and Lochboisdale in South Uist. Tour Oban Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Oban in 1846. Oban, a burgh of barony, a sea-port town, and lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Kilmore and Kilbride, district of Lorn, county of Argyll, 32 miles (W. N. W.) from Inverary, and 136 (W. by N.) from Edinburgh; containing 1554 inhabitants, of whom 1398 are in the burgh. This place, which is situated on the western coast of Mid Lorn, at the head of a fine bay formed by the island of Kerrera, on the west, and having facilities of entrance on the north and south, owes its origin to the establishment of a storehouse in 1713, by a company of merchants from Renfrew, attracted by the convenience of its position for trade, and the safe and extensive accommodations of its bay. It was much increased in importance in 1778, by the Messrs. Stevenson, who, settling here, introduced several branches of traffic, which added greatly to the number of buildings; and during the same century, the place was constituted one of the custom-house ports. The town is beautifully seated on the banks of a small river which divides it into two parts; and, as approached either by sea or by land, has a strikingly picturesque and interesting aspect. It consists of various well-formed streets of neat and substantial houses: and in the main street is an extensive and commodious hotel, for the reception of the visiters and families who resort hither during the season for seabathing, and for whose accommodation there are also comfortable lodging-houses.

The manufacture of silk and straw hats is carried on to a considerable extent; and there are two large distilleries in the town. The trade of the port consists chiefly in the exportation of wool, kelp, pig-iron, fish, whisky, and slates from the quarries of the surrounding district; and in the importation of merchandise from Glasgow and Liverpool. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port is thirteen, of the aggregate burthen of 360 tons. The bay, which is sheltered from all winds by lofty mountains, has from twelve to twenty-four fathoms' depth, and is sufficiently capacious to contain more than 500 sail of trading vessels. There are two spacious quays, of which that on the north was enlarged and improved in 1836; and since the opening of the Caledonian canal, steamers from Greenock, Glasgow, Inverness, Mull, Iona, Staffa, and Skye, constantly touch at the port. The custom-house, erected in 1763, occupies a commanding site overlooking the bay. The post-office has a good delivery. A branch of the National Bank of Scotland, a savings' bank, four insurance agencies, and an excise-office, have been established. Markets are annually held in May and October for black-cattle, and in March and November for horses.

The town was first erected into a burgh of barony by charter granted to the Duke of Argyll in 1811, and subsequently by a new charter granted to the duke, and also to Mr. Campbell, in 1820. The government was once vested in a provost, two bailies, and four councillors annually chosen by the burgesses; but since the passing of the Municipal Reform act, six councillors have been elected by the £10 householders, of whom two are bailies; and the office of provost has been set aside. The jurisdiction of the magistrates is coextensive with the whole territory of the burgh, which exceeds that of the parliamentary limits; but, except in cases of petty delinquency, the magistrates exercise no criminal jurisdiction; and since the establishment of the sheriff's-court for small debts, which is held quarterly, few civil actions have been tried before them. The burgh is associated with those of Ayr, Campbelltown, Inverary, and Irvine, in returning a member to the imperial parliament; the number of qualified voters is sixty-four. The late parish, which for ecclesiastical purposes was separated from Kilmore and Kilbride by act of the General Assembly in 1834, included the town of Oban and adjacent district, comprising an area nearly six square miles in extent. The church, built as a chapel of ease in 1821, at an expense of £1142, is a neat structure containing 530 sittings: the minister has a stipend of £100, derived from the seat-rents and an annual donation of £20 by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, United Secession, and Independents; and a congregation of about forty Baptists assemble in a private room. Subscriptions to the amount of £310 have been collected for the erection of an additional parochial school-house, on a site purchased for the purpose; and a grant of £150 has been obtained from government.

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