about Kilmallie

mu dheidhinn Cill Mhàlaidh

We’ll gradually be building up these pages into a wealthy store of useful information about our local area. Here’s a brief introduction.

where and what is Kilmallie?

Kilmallie is in Lochaber in the West Highlands of Scotland.

Today the name Kilmallie refers to the political area covered by the Kilmallie Community Council – see The Highland Council’s map “Kilmallie Community Council Boundary” (pdf 1.16MB).

But in the past Kilmallie referred to a much larger civil and religious parish (the largest in Scotland) that extended as far south as Ballachulish. In the late 19th C it was split into smaller parishes but was still much larger than the present day, extending to Glenfinnan and the tip of Loch Morar in the west, and beyond Loch Arkaig to half way up Loch Lochy in the north. You can see the 19th C boundary map of the parish here. This is why lots of historical references to Kilmallie, and even some present-day references, will actually be referring to places outwith the present Kilmallie area. For example the Kilmallie Shinty Club’s ground is in Caol, not Kilmallie!

what’s Kilmallie like?

Most of Kilmallie is uninhabited hill and moorland, interspersed with glens both Great and small. It’s entirely probable that there are parts of Kilmallie that have never been trampled by human feet. Much of our area is dominated by the view of Ben Nevis on the skyline.

From “the Queen of Scottish Rivers” (the majestic River Lochy) and the torrent of the Dubh Lighe (the Black Flood) to the lengthy seashore of Loch Eil, two thirds of our perimeter is water! Added to that, the southernmost stretch of the Caledonian Canal passes leisurely through us on its way from Gairlochy to the sea at Corpach, and as if that isn’t watery enough, all the hillsides are crisscrossed with a dense network of rivers and burns.

But Kilmallie also has a thriving community, spread out along the seashore and the floor of the Great Glen. We have a population of about 1700 people, mostly concentrated in Corpach and Banavie, gradually spreading out to the sparsely populated reaches of Muirshearlich and Kinlocheil, with at least one (maybe more??) house beyond the reach of mains electricity.

Kilmallie’s settlements are not mere residential suburbs of Fort William! Our area has the main High School that serves most of Lochaber, as well as the Medical Centre that serves the whole Fort William area, and we have much of the urban industry too, as well as crofting, farming and forestry. We have a shop and Post Office in Corpach. So we have a broad employment base. Tourism is also very important and Kilmallie benefits from the Fort William area’s status as Outdoor Capital of the UK.

a great place to live!

Kilmallie is a great place to live, and a great place to visit. We hope you think so too. If you have any ideas for making it even better, please let us know!


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