RANZA (LOCH), a bay and hamlet on the north,
west coast of Arran, 1½ mile from the northern extremity of the
island, 5 miles south-south-east of Skipness-point in Kintyre, and 7½
miles south-west of Inch-Marnoch, off Bute. The bay is about a mile in
length, and 3 furlongs in mean breadth. On the south side, near its
head, a commodious natural harbour of great security and much depth is
formed by the projection of a small low peninsula. During the season
of the herring-fishery, 200 or 300 boats frequent the bay, and may be
seen now lying at anchor, while their nets are drying on the beach,
and now shooting away in a consentaneous fleet, and opening out in
array to drop their nets on the fishing-ground. On the small peninsula
of the bay stands Loch-Ranza castle, once a royal hunting-seat, but
now a rootless, though otherwise undilapidated, ruin. The structure
consists of two castellated square towers, united by connecting walls,
and more ornamented than the -majority of old Highland strongholds.
There is a chapel-of-ease here. See ARRAN.