Bowmore - Isle of Islay

Hotels & Accommodation in Bowmore, Isle of Islay

A small town on the Scottish island of Islay. It serves as administrative capital of the island, and gives its name to the noted Bowmore distillery producing Bowmore single malt scotch whisky.

Bowmore is a planned village with wide streets on a grid-iron pattern. It has its origins in an earlier settlement, Kilarrow, which until c.1770 occupied the site of the present grounds of Islay House near Bridgend.

In May 1685, Kilarrow was the scene of the first stages of Argyll's Rising, when rebels under the Earl of Argyll arrived from the Netherlands to help overthrow King James II and VII.

As part of his plans for improvements at Islay House, Daniel Campbell the Younger initiated the construction of the new village in 1770, just after the completion of the new Kilarrow Parish Church, which was built in a unique circular shape. The old village of Kilarrow and its church dedicated to St Maelrhuba, were then demolished, and its residents were relocated to the new village of Bowmore. Kilarrow Old Churchyard still exists close to the site of the former village.

The Bowmore distillery came into operation some time before 1816 and is situated on the shores of Loch Indaal. In the 1980s, one of the distillery's warehouses was gifted to the community for conversion to a swimming pool and leisure centre. Named the Mactaggart Centre after one of the scheme's major donors, Sir John Mactaggart, it uses an innovative system of underground pipes to transfer waste heat from the distillery to the water for the swimming pool

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