Campbeltown – The Wee Toon

Campbeltown (in Gaelic: “Ceann Loch Chille Chiarain”) is a town and Royal Burgh in Kintyre, Argyll, Scotland, located by Campbeltown Loch on the Kintyre peninsula.

Originally known as Kinlochkilkerran (in English: The head of the loch by the kirk of St. Kieran – this form is still used in Gaelic).

It was renamed in the 17th century as ‘Campbell’s town’, by Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll, having been granted the site in 1667 for the erection of a burgh of barony.
Campbeltown became an important centre for Shipbuilding and Whisky, once the self proclaimed ‘Whisky Capital of the world‘, it was also a very busy fishing port.


Visit Explore Campbeltown for lots more info on the ‘Wee Toon’

Sir William MacKinnon

Sir William MacKinnon
A statue of Sir William Mackinnon has been erected in Kinloch Park thanks to the local Rotary Club and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund
The statue has been brought from Keil School in Dumbarton which was closing down.

Sir William Mackinnon was obviously a man of great vision, his company objectives included: …the elimination of the slave trade, the prohibition of trade monopoly, and the equal treatment of all nations.

Brief Biography: Sir William Mackinnon of Balinakill – (1823-1893) Ship owner and colonial developer

Born in Campbeltown, Argyllshire, Mackinnon trained as a grocer, but went out to India where he eventually founded the British India Steam Navigation Company which developed a vast trade round the coasts of the Indian Ocean. This extended to the east coast of Africa, between Aden and Zanzibar, where Mackinnon established what was chartered in 1888 as the Imperial British East Africa Company; its objectives included the elimination of the slave trade, the prohibition of trade monopoly, and the equal treatment of all nations. Mackinnon promoted H. M. Stanley’s expedition for the relief of Emin Pasha, and in 1891 founded the Free Church of Scotland East African Scottish Mission. He also founded the independent Keil School in Dumbarton. He was created a baronet in 1889. On his death (without issue) he was buried at Clachan, Argyllshire near his beloved house Balinakill

Folks of note:

Old images from Campbeltown:

Some old adverts for local businesses. These are from a Campbeltown Borough Guide from the 1960’s:

The images below are stills from the film “Arrival at White Hart Hotel Campbeltown, soldiers bound for camp arriving at Campbeltown, together with their supplies in horse-drawn carts and wagons.

Filmed for Randall Burnette, owner of the De Luxe Cinemas in Rothesay and Glasgow, and member of the Board of the Picture House, Campbeltown.

Another set of stills from the above 1950’s film: BRS Transport link from Glasgow to Campbeltown by British Transport Films.

An excellent video about the Campbeltown Cross, produced by West Media and commissioned by Campbeltown Community Council.