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Scottish anchorages


Spoiled for choice I would say — from a world-famous famous abbey to a pile of medieval stones via classic 19th Century Church of Scotland small churches and a couple of Roman Catholic chapels. So where to begin? I guess with the medieval chapels, some with graveyards, separate burial grounds (or cemeteries), and ancient crosses — there are loads in various states of ruination at the following anchorages:


Ardlussa and Lussa Bays, Jura: burial ground

Ardminish Bay, Gigha: St Cathan's chapel and graveyard

Bagh Dun Mhuilig, Loch Craignish: old church of Kilmarie and graveyard

Balnahard Bay, Colonsay: a very ruined chapel and eroded cross

Balvicar, Seil Island, Loch Shuna: Kilbrandon Old Parish Church and graveyard

Calgary Bay, West Mull: Cladh Mhuire, burial ground

Canna: graveyard and cross

Carsaig Bay, KIntyre: burial ground

Chapel Bay, Kintyre: very overgrown St Columba's chapel and burial ground

Craighouse, Jura: Killearnadale burial ground (Cill  Earnadil)

Dunstaffnage, Lower Loch Linnhe: rather grand chapel, more of a church really

Eilean Mòr, Loch Sween: monkish cave and St Cormac's chapel

Eilean Munde, Loch Leven: the very best of burial grounds, and a chapel

Ellary: burial ground

Inch Kenneth, West Mull: chapel and graveyard

Kilchoan, Loch Sunart: chapel and graveyard

Kilnaughton Bay, Islay: chapel and rather interesting graveyards

Loch a'Choire, Lower Loch Linnhe: graveyard

Loch Aline, Sound of Mull: graveyard, grave slabs in the church

Loch Beag, Firth of Lorne: old parish church of Kilmarie and graveyard

Loch Buie, South Mull: St Kenneth’s Chapel and graveyard

Loch na Cille, Kintyre: graveslabs, chapel

Loch Spelve: parish church of Killean

Loch Stornoway, Kintyre: burial ground

Nave Island, Islay: chapel

Port Mòr, Aros Bay, Glas Uig, Islay: Kildalton old parish church, and cross

Toberonochy, Loch Shuna: chapel with graffiti, and graveyard


There is then a gap of several centuries, spanning the destruction during the Reformation, before the sort of churches we are familiar with started to be built in the late 18th/19th century.  Many are very serene and rather nice to visit even if you are of no particular religious persuasion, but need a bit of a sit down and a think:


Ardfern, Loch Craignish: Craignish Parish Church

Camus Aiseig, Upper Loch Linnhe: Ardgour Parish Church

Arinagour, Coll: Parish Church

Bowmore, Islay: Kilarrow Parish Church — the round one

Canna: round tower church and the Roman Catholic Chapel

Craignure, Sound of Mull: Parish Church

Drimnin, Sound of Mull: St Columba's chapel

Kilchoan, Loch Sunart: old and new Parish Churches, graveyard

Loch a Coire, Lower Loch Linnhe: Kingairloch Church

Loch Cuan, West Mull: Kilmore (Dervaig) Parish Church, another round tower

Portnahaven: Parish Church

Ulva Ferry, West Mull: Parish Church


And some grander stuff:


Ardchattan, Loch Etive: ruined Priory

Iona, West Mull: Abbey and Nunnery — a magnet for tourists, but remarkable

Oban: St Columba's cathedral

Port na Moralachd or Achnacroish Lismore: Clachan Kirk, surprising previous cathedral

Oronsay, Colonsay: extensive and well-preserved ruin of a priory


And finally, there is a great monastic site with monkish beehives — more or less unique to the area — on the Garvellach Islands


Please let me know if there is anything wrong or out of date on this page, or if there is anything I should add — by clicking HERE

Graveslab, Bagh Dun Mhuilig chapel, 

Loch Craignish

The Gaelic Bible in Kilberry Parish Church, Loch Stornoway

"The whole of Cantyre, indeed the whole of Argyllshire, and all of the Western Isles are monuments of early Christianity. The very names tell you that. You can count the names which begin with 'Kil' by the score, and 'Kil' means 'cell', a place where early missionary priests established themselves...."  Heckstall Smith in Isle, Ben and Loch 1933.

"I look with reverence upon every place that has been set apart for religion" Samuel Johnson 1773, quoted by Boswell.


St Columba's Chapel, Drimnin