arran is rich in history
In the Bronze and Iron ages, Arran was a Gaelic speaking community; part of the kingdom of Dalriada which was ruled from Ireland. There are many ancient landmarks to be found around the island, with myths and legends surrounding how they came to be.
Christianity arrived to the island around the 6th century with the founding of a monastery by St Brendan at Kilpatrick.
Over the years, Arran has been invaded by the Vikings, the Celts, the English, as well as the clans Stewart, MacDonald and Hamilton.
The island, like Scotland, was engulfed in bitter feuds and battles with the constant struggle for power being a predominate concern. Arran has always had a small population, but the Highland Clearances in the 1800s meant that many locals had to head to North America in search of a better life. The ‘clearences’ led to a significant depopulation and to the end of the Gaelic language and way of life.
Arran is divided from north to south and historically had two parishes; Kilmory Parish which covers the west side and Kilbride Parish which covers the east side.
Arran's family histories and the study of their lineages has been a passion for many local historians on the island. At the Arran Heritage Museum, a short walk just outside Brodick, are the Old Parish Records recording births, baptisms and marriages from 1701- 1854. From 1855 all the births, deaths and marriages were officially recorded and these are all available at the Lamlash Council Offices. The Heritage Museum has extensive files relating to Arran families as well as the Census Returns from 1841 – 1901 for the Arran and Bute Area.
For further information on this, or to research your family histories, why not pop into The Heritage Museum- a great day out for all the family. Or visit Brodick Castle, where guests of Auchrannie receive 20% if they show their charge card.