August 29, 2011

St. Conan's Kirk

Good bye to St. Conan's by walla2chick
Good bye to St. Conan's, a photo by walla2chick on Flickr.

This delightful, bizarre, unique little church is filled with beautiful artistry and an intriguing history. When was it built, you ask? It's Norman, Romanesque, Saxon, and even has a ring of standing stones at the gate. It has rabbits for drainpipes, a cloister, a sundial terrace, flying buttresses, and a larger-than-life effigy of Robert the Bruce. It was first dedicated for worship in 1930.

Lovely St Conan's Church by walla2chick
Lovely St Conan's Church, a photo by walla2chick on Flickr.
The curious history of this kirk dates back to 1881 when Walter Campbell decided that his elderly mother needed a church closer to home than the one at Dalmally. So he built one of his own.

Campbell was an amazing architect, uninhibited by precedent and the confines of one single style. He spent years visualizing an ecclesiastical Scottish paradise--a place of extreme beauty and holiness that would awe and inspire visitors for generations.

Campbell and his sister Helen both worked tirelessly on the kirk, but it was not finished until both of them had died. It was finally used for worship in 1930, long after a Celtic cross was erected in memory of the Campbell's old mother. The completed church is far larger than any congregation that would meet in it, but it seems more like a monument than a house of worship. A flight of fancy, a feat of beauty, St. Conan's Kirk is certainly a sight to behold.

Survived a steamroller by walla2chick
Survived a steamroller, a photo by walla2chick on Flickr.

Scotland - Highlands - St Conan's Kirk - Stained Glass Window by dees003
Scotland - Highlands - St Conan's Kirk - Stained Glass Window,
a photo by dees003 on Flickr.
The stained glass windows were painstakingly designed and painted by Helen Campbell herself.

Walter Campbell's original vision was to build, "To the Glory of God, a House Beautiful." Do you think that vision was realized?

Classic windows by walla2chick
Classic windows, a photo by walla2chick on Flickr.

Peek-a-boo by walla2chick
Peek-a-boo, a photo by walla2chick on Flickr.
A couple of likely lads by walla2chick
A couple of likely lads, a photo by walla2chick on Flickr.

Many thanks to for J_on_tour@jayzspaze for suggesting this post topic!

1 comment:

  1. Great post Abby and I'm pleased you looked it up, thanks for the mention. It is a fascinating church with an interesting history at a location that I could have spent a lot more time at.


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