This evening, I am presenting images and a record of a recent visit to Campbeltown where Clan Currie is scheduled to hold a reunion in 2009.

Campbeltown is located at the southern tip of the long, narrow peninsula of land named Kintyre. This peninsula is about 40 miles fron north to south and some 6-8miles wide.

Firstly, here are some images from our tour of Springbank Distillery. In the 19th century Campbeltown boasted over 30 distilleries and was classified as a distinct whisky producing region.However, there are now just three distilleries of which only Springbank provides tours. Springbank is the oldest independent family owned distillery in Scotland dating from 1828 and is unusual in that it carries out the full production process, including malting, on site. The distillery produces three different single malts, Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn using three different production methods.

On the day of our visit the distillery was not in operation.

Here is the tour guide at the whisky safe.

Maturing barrels of whisky. To qualify as Scotch, the product must be matured in oak barrels for a minimum of 3 years and 1 day in Scotland.

Malting floor

Victoria Hall in the town. This available for group events.

A Currie grave marker from the main cemetery

A Currie found on the town’s War Memorial ( WW1). I would guess there would be at least 100 names listed which must have impacted heavily on the local community.

Rural landscape between Campbeltown and Machrihanish

Just outside Machrihanish can be found the remains of Kilkivan Chapel which is accessed via a very rough and rutted farm track. This seems to date from medieval times.

Memorial to Janet Currie at Kilkivan

Medieval grave slabs at Kilkivan which would suggest the site was very important in the past.

View of Machrihanish from the air.

Beach at Machrihanish. This is not safe to bathe owing to strong currents.

Another rural scene near Machrihanish

Bar at Campbeltown

The Old Smoke House at Campbeltown

Centre of Campbeltown in the fall

In the centre of Campbeltown can be a large stone cross which may have been relocated from Kilkivan chapel (adverted to above) in the 17th century to serve as a market cross. The cross appears to date from aroun d 1380 and carries the inscription (in Latin) “This is the cross of Sir Yvarus MacEarchan, sometime parson of Kylkecan and of Sir Andrea his son, parson of Kilchoman (Islay), who caused this cross to be made.”

Lorne and Lowland Church
Main Street, Campbeltown

View from bedroom window at Ardshiel Hotel

Whisky Bar at Ardshiel. There are some 400 different malts available here. A delight for the whisky connoisseur

View of the Ardshiel which is under the management of Flora and Marion

Old cinema building. This is a heritage building and of historic interest owing to its status as the oldest cinema in Scotland still showing films.

View of Campbeltown Loch from the town.

Town war memorial

Another view of Campbeltown Loch

The following images are of a architecturally interesting building which is now a successful hotel. Craigard House Hotel was completed in 1882 in the Italianate style popular at the time. it was built as a private home for William McKersie, a local whisky distiller. The architect was Henry Clifford who also designed other local prominent buildings. To me, this design is redolent of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson of Glasgow.

Campbeltown has suffered from industrial decline and is obviously trying to regain its former prosperity. There is talk of re-establishing a ferry link which, if approved, should prove beneficial especially for the tourist industry.

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