Gargavache Summary



Principal Sources


RMS II (2559) 1500

RMS III (2954) 1543

ER XVI p 565 1533, pp 574-5 1533-4

ER XVII p 748 1537-8

Inverness Retours (21) 1608, (92) 1662, (99) 1669


Laing Charters (2017) 1628

GD44/1/1/9/9/7 1628

GD44/1/1/9/9/15 & 16 1766

GD44/26/9/8 1722

GD44/26/9/24 Rental 1723

GD44/51/743/1 Rental of Lochaber 1642

GD44/51/743/2 Rental of Lochaber 1648

E760/1/1(3) 1722

E760/1/2  M Campbell c.1751-5


Macfarlane’s Geographical Collections II pp 170, 523-4

N Maclean-Bristol, Warriors and Priests, p 197, East Linton, 1995

Rental of the Lordship of Huntly 1600, Miscellany of the Spalding Club vol IV p 293, Aberdeen, 1849.

RHP 2494 1767

RHP 2495

RHP 861 1831

RHP 35981 1767



RMS III (2954) 1543 refers to 40 merklands called Gargoch lying in the Brae of Lochaber. Clan Donald II p 611 claims that c. 1496 Donald of Keppoch occupied Gargavach (otherwise known as the Inche of Lochaber) for a rent of 40 merks. The Keppoch family subsequently leased some of these lands from the Gordon family for long periods of time.


D Murray Rose (ed.), Sir W Purves, Revenue of the Scottish Crown, 1681, Edinburgh, 1897, p 182 refers to ‘Garisdavock’ in Lochaber, from a Rental of the Isles (c. 1493).


Macfarlane’s Geographical Collections II gives ‘Gargawach’ (p 169), ‘Gargawah’ (p 170), ‘Gargavach’ (p 523). Blaeu marks Gargavak south of the River Spean and west of the (River) Cour.


Rental of the Lordship of Huntly 1600, Miscellany of the Spalding Club vol IV, Aberdeen, 1849, p 293 gives Gargavache as 40m and lists the component farms.


Clan Campbell VI (pp 99-100) gives Gargavach (1607) and (p 150) Garzarche (1615).

Although the name Gargavache is a compound of garbh + davach I think it was actually the name of an estate or a holding rather than one particular davach. (I think Dauchenessye was exactly the same). What evidence we do have suggests that a davach in the Loch Arkaig area (i.e. West of the Great Glen but North of Loch Eil) was worth 20m and was the same as an ounceland. In Glen Nevis (i.e. East of the Great Glen but South of Loch Eil) a davach was still the same as an ounceland but only worth 10m. There seems to have been something of a North-South split here. Keppoch (i.e. the Glen Roy estate) was worth 2 davachs and probably 40m. Gargavache was worth 40m and, with the exception of 3 farms, lay south of the River Spean. The part that lay south of the Spean was worth 30¼m in 1600 and was probably 3 davachs of 10m each. The 9¾m that lay north of the Spean may originally have been only half a davach if lands in that area were reckoned at 1 davach to 20m.


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