Ardgoil Estate lies in the peninsula southeast of Lochgoilhead, between Loch Goil and Loch Long in Argyll and Bute. It originally formed part of the Ardkinglas Estate, the whole of which was put up for sale in 1905. Ardkinglas was offered in its entirety or, if not sold complete, split in two, with the lands to the east and south of Lochgoilhead being known as the Loch Goil and Loch Long Section, and the remainder as the Loch Fyne Section. No offers were received for the whole estate but in 1905 Archibald Cameron Corbett, 1st Baron Rowallan (May 23, 1856 – March 19, 1933), agreed to purchase the Loch Goil and Loch Long Section and gift some 9,000 acres (the actual area was 9,360 acres or 3,790 ha), to the Corporation of Glasgow in perpetuity, as a recreational area for the citizens of that city, as detailed in his letter of the time to the Lord Provost:
New Club, Glasgow, 28th July 1905
My Dear Lord Provost,
I have just agreed to purchase a part of the Ardkinglas estate with the object of handing over the three sheep farms lying between Loch Long and Loch Goil to the Corporation of Glasgow. The extent of the land is about 9000 acres. As it is not possible in many cases for the public to have access to mountains in this neighbourhood, it seems to me desirable that our fellow-citizens should have a mountain territory which will be their own for all time. My usual clause against the sale of liquor would be a condition of the conveyance. I should also make it a condition that the revenue derived from the property should be diverted to the purpose of making it more accessible to our citizens, whether by ferry or other means. My general object is to preserve a grand and rugged region for the best use of those who love the freedom of the mountains and wild natural beauty. While I would not object to the erection of simple cottages, I should greatly repel anything being done which would disturb the naturalness of such scenery, and would suggest that our artists might be consulted before any step affecting its aspect be taken. While I make the two restrictions and one earnest suggestion, I trust that none of these will be felt by the Corporation to interfere in an undesirable way with their freedom to do their best for the citizens, or to imply any limitation of the heartiness with which I appreciate your own and their public services.
A. Cameron Corbett.
Records of the time indicate that a group from the corporation visited the site on Saturday, October 7, 1905, travelling via Princes Pier station in Greenock. The day was typically wet for the visit, and only one group member took up the challenge of walking across the peninsula, while the rest of the party surveyed the acquisition from a steamer.
In November 1905, Archibald Corbett donated Pole Farm to the estate, adding a further 5,380 acres (2,180 ha) to the area, as he felt that the income derived from his previous gift would not cover expenditure. Conditions attached included one which stated that the name of the estate must in no way connect his name to it. The land was legally transferred to the Corporation of Glasgow in June 1906, and the corporation chose the name Ardgoil for the new estate.
In December 1911, under the Private Legislation Procedure (Scotland) act 1899, the Corporation of Glasgow were given the power to appropriate estate land for afforestation, and the construction of roads, bridges, piers, and ferries, for the utilisation and development of the estate. They were also given the power to sell, feu, and lease the estate, or portions of the estate.
Between 1928 and 1929, the corporation fued 2,854 acres at Pole Farm, and 4,794 acres at Coilessan, to the Forestry Commission for afforestation.
In 1961, 2.7 acres was used for cottages for estate workers.
In 1965 the Corporation of Glasgow arranged to transfer the Ardgoil Estate into public ownership, to be managed by the Forestry Commission as part of the Argyll Forest Park.
In 1967, ownership of the estate was transferred to the Secretary of State for Scotland.
Since 1967, the Forestry Commission has disposed of some 2,365 acres of the land, with further areas transferred to the Dunbritton Housing Association for affordable housing.
In August 1967, the Ardgoil Estate land title was transferred to the Secretary of State for Scotland and into public ownership
In 1999, all land titles held by the Secretary of State for Scotland were transferred to the ministers of the new Scottish Parliament. This transfer included the Ardgoil Estate, which became publicly owned land, with the land title being held for the public by the ministers of the Scottish Parliament.
The estate includes an area known as Argyll's Bowling Green, also referred to as the Ardgoil Peninsula.
Argyll's Bowling Green
Argyll's Bowling Green lies between Loch Long and Loch Goil and includes a range of peaks in south central Argyll and Bute which rises to 787 metres (2582 ft) at The Brack, south of Glen Croe. The area may also be referred to as the Ardgoil Peninsula. The lower slopes are covered by the Ardgartan Forest, which ia part of the Argyll Forest Park.
The name Argyll's Bowling Green is actually a misnomer, as the area contains many hills, and is far from level. The name is actually a corruption of the Gaelic Baile na Greine, which translates to Sunny Hamlet.
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