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English nameKilarrow
Gaelic nameCill A-Rubha
MeaningRubha's Church
Genitive formChill A-Rubha

Location and type of place name

LocationIslay, Inner Hebrides
Local authorityArgyll & Bute ~ Earra-Ghàidheal & Bòd
Parish post 1891
County post 1891Argyll & Bute ~ Earra-Ghàidheal & Bòd
Old geographical area352
Topographical feature typeSettlement ~ Tuineachadh
Postcode areaPA43
OS sheet number
OS grid referenceNR332628
Type of namePlace ~ Àite


Element meaningG cill ~ church; maol ~ bald; Rubha ~ personal name, Rubha
Element typeperson, religion

External Resources

OS maps

Further Information

Language notesnom. sg. G cill, fem. ‘church’ + a reduced form of maol, ‘bald’ (here in the sense of a title) + gen. sg. Rubha masc. saint’s name = ‘Rubha’s Church’
Kilmow 1538 RRS vol II no. 2687
Kilmarrow 1548 RRS vol III no. 2963
Kilmarew 1554 RRS vol IV no. 2865
Killenew 1617 Parliamentary records [1617/5/46]
Kilmaroy 1630 Ane Description p. 168
Kilmolrow c. 1654 Blaeu map 42 (Islay)
Killorow 1681 Parliamentary records [1681/7/155]
Killorow 1693 Parliamentary records [A1693/4/20]
Kilmalrew 1695 Retours (Argyle) no. 93
Cill-a-rubha 1911 Dwelly
Cille Maoilrubha Proceedings of the Society (1882) p. 266
Cill a Rubha Lands of Lordship
[ˌkʲɪlĕˈrɯːʔə] local (MacNiven)

It would be impossible to connect, Killarow in Islay with St Maolrubha from the form or sound of the words. In this case by aspiration and assimilation combined Mhaoil has been reduced to a; Cill-Mhaoil-rubha to Cill-a-rubha “Killarow:” Here the records have preserved the successive stages of phonetic declension - Kilmolrow, Kilmorow, Kilmarrow, Kill(mh)arrow. In the north Highlands aspiration is carried further than in south Argyle.: Donald MacKinnon The Scotsman November 17th 1887 p. 5

Cill a Rubha: Robertson
Additional infoThe early forms point to Cill(e) Maoil Rubha, although the modern form represents the proposed form. This specific in this name has been reinterpreted as G rudha, ‘promontory’. In Bowmore on Islay there is a Tràigh Cill an Rubha at NR329623. In the proposed form, the ‘A’ represents a reduced form of ‘Maol ’.
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