Kilmory is the main settlement in the south west of the Isle of Arran. Actually, if you look closely at a map, what usually passes for a single village actually comprises three distinct parts. The main focus is at Torrylinn, while just to its north is Kilmory. A little to the west is Lagg.
Torrylinn and Lagg both sit astride the main A841 as it circumnavigates the island, at this point about half a mile inland from the sea. For the visitor touring the island, two things are immediately striking about the village. The first is the bright and welcoming Lagg Hotel at the west end of this conjoined village and deep in the valley of the Kilmory Water: while the other is the Torrylinn Creamery.
The Lagg Hotel offers accommodation and meals in a beautiful setting. The creamery, which is home to the famous Isle of Arran Cheese, has a viewing gallery from which you can see production taking place. It also has a cheese shop. Mid way between these two extremes of the village, at the top of the hill as the road climbs east out of the valley of the Kilmory Water, are the village hall and the school.
It seems probable that of the three elements forming the village, Kilmory is be the oldest. This is a supposition based on the name, which comes from the Gaelic Cill Mhóire. This translates as "Church of the Virgin Mary", suggesting a pre-Reformation church stood here. The church you see today was built in 1785, but this seems to have replaced an earlier church either on the same site or nearby, perhaps a chapel mentioned in a document dating back to 1357 (or a replacement of it).
In more recent centuries, this part of Arran was home to a surprising amount of industry. The Torrylinn Creamery was established in 1946 by the Milk Marketing Board, but up to the 1800s there had been two mills in the area, and Lagg was home to a distillery that closed in 1836.
If you look at the surrounding countryside, you see see numerous signs that settlement of this corner of Arran goes back far beyond recorded history. Two of the ancient monuments that remain are especially impressive. A footpath on the east side of the Kilmory in Lagg leads to the Torrylin Cairn, dating to the Neolithic era. A little to the north west, a path leading from the A841 takes you down to Torr a' Chaisteal Dun, the remains of a fortified farmstead built on top of a natural outcrop above the raised beach that dominates the shoreline of this part of Arran.
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