County of Argyll
- Total
- % Water
Ranked 2nd
1,990,471 acres (8055 km²)
County town Inveraray
Chapman code ARL

Argyll, archaically Argyle (Earra-Ghàidheal in modern Gaelic), is a region of western Scotland corresponding with ancient Dál Riata, and 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." 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.

The region is now part of Argyll and Bute.

County and district

It was also a county of Scotland until 1975, when Scottish counties were abolished. At the time of abolition the county had boundaries as shown in the map. In this form it is known also as the anglicised Argyllshire. Argyll's neighbouring counties were Inverness-shire, Perthshire, Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Bute. 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 Inveraray, which is still the seat of the Duke of Argyll. Other places in the former county were Oban, Campbeltown, Lochgilphead and Inveraray.

Ardnamurchan, Sunart, Ardgour and Morvern, north of Loch Linnhe and the Isle of Mull were part of the old county. The Small Isles were traditionally part of the county, but for administrative purposes they were transferred to Inverness-shire in 1891, and they are now within the Highland council area.

In 1975 Argyll became a local government district of the Strathclyde region, but boundaries were altered to include part of the former county of Bute and to exclude an area which became part of the Highland region. In 1996 the district became the Argyll and Bute unitary council area, 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.

Notable residents

  • Patrick MacKellar, (1717-1778), born in Argyllshire, military engineer, considered the most competent engineer in America.[1]


    1. ^ (1963) Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who.