This evening, my theme is Luss Parish which is dedicated to St. Kessog who came to Luss in AD510. I visit the quaint and heritage village of Luss many times in course of a year but it is only on rare occasions that I manage to gain access to the interior. This evening I am providing a video clip of the interior together with more information on this historic Christian site.

The current church building is not very old (by Scottish standards) and dates from 1875. It is the most recent of a series of churches on this site which have existed over the past 1500 years.

The current church was opened in 1875 . The previous building was in poor repair and when the local laird, Sir James Colquhoun, tragically died in a boating accident on Loch Lomond the incident acted as a catalyst for his son, also Sir James, to rebuild the church as a memorial to his late father. From the video it will be noted that the interior roof is constructed in the shape of an upturned boat, possibly in recognition of the boating accident. Unusually, the interior shown in the video has not been subject to material change since it was opened in 1875.

A special service is held each year on March 10th to commemmorate the martyrdom of MacKessog. The holy man is referred to as both Mackessog and Saint Kessog, both of which being correct. However, in this case the Mac prefix is the Gaelic for ‘my dear one’ as opposed to the more usual ‘son of’.

Kessog was probably born in Ireland around AD 460 and came to the Luss/Dumbarton area because it was a local power base and offered opportunities for conversion to Christianity. Ten years after Kessog’s arrival he was killed at nearby Bandry, possibly by followers of the non-Christians and thereafter Luss became a place of pilgrimage right through to the Reformation in 1560.

Luss has much history and I think its regrettable that visitors are not allowed regular access to the church, possibly with benefit of  a local tour guide. The vast majority of visitors simply wander round the pretty village streets, take a few photos of Loch Lomond and move on not realising the extensive history of the area. The Church grave yard also contains an ancient Viking era ‘hogback’ grave marker from around the 9th century.

Elsewhere today, I have been attending to modifications to a couple of upcoming tours. Withe the sun shining again I ventured out on another cycle ride in the local countryside. Quite a pleasant experience passing through the rolling green fields populated with lots of sheep and lambs.

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