Kintyre is the cradle of the modern Scottish nation. It is the place where the Scotii first landed from Ireland when they created the ancient sea-kingdom of Dalriada and the area hosted an early version of the Scottish parliament. It was home to Somerled, the first Lord of the Isles and saw a number of historic battles and sea-borne skirmishes.
Kintyre’s semi-autonomous status as part of the Lordship of the Isles made it a political hot potato, its island status having been confirmed after Somerled’s Viking ancestors had a dragged a longboat across the narrow neck of land between East and West Loch Tarbert.
A slow descent into lawlessness was punctuated by the arrival of the Covenanters in the 17th Century and then eventually the plantation of forfeited MacDonald lands by farmers from Renfrewshire and Ayrshire. This, along with the Irish immigrant population, added to the indigenous Highlanders, swelled the local gene pool and helped create the curious cultural melange that is modern Kintyre.