Kilmorich Parish Church, West of Scotland

Kilmorich Parish Church, West of Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Kilmorich Parish Church, the alternative names for which include Cairndow Parish Church; Cairndow Kirk; Kilmorich Kirk; and War Memorial.

This Church is part of the Church of Scotland and is used for Presbyterian worship.

Location is about 54 miles N.W. of Glasgow in the West of Scotland.

Kilmorich translates as ‘the church of Saint Muireadhach‘. However, the identity of the saint is not clear.

Summary information concerning the building:

  • Has been assigned Category A listed status,
  • Stands in its churchyard  at the foot of a steep hillside, 150m from the East shore of Loch Fyne.
  • Built in 1816 to serve Kilmorich parish, which since 1618 had been united with Lochgoilhead  and it replaced a building, probably of early 18th-century date, situated a short distance to the North. Going back further, there are records of a church in the vicinity dating back to the 1240s.
  • Situated close to the entrance-gate of the Ardkinglas Woodland Garden, a local visitor attraction.
  • Comprises a pyramidal-roofed octagon 9.9m in span within 0.9m walls, with a contemporary West tower measuring 4.9m square and 15.7m in overall height, and a late 19th century session house to the East. The masonry is harled and whitewashed rubble, with buff sandstone ashlar for quoins, eaves-courses and door- and window-dressings, and the roofs are slated.
  • The oblique faces of the octagon contain four double-lancet windows.
  • The tower, divided into two main stages by an ashlar band, Above the West window is a sandstone panel bearing the initials DP. DN. JC, perhaps for ‘Deo Patri Domini Nostri Jesu Christi’ (‘To God the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ’) and the date AD. MDCCCXVI. In the upper stage of the tower there are three tall double-lancet windows,
  • The ground floor of the tower forms a stone-flagged vestibule, from which a stone stair leads to the gallery and a plain doorway opens into the octagon. A timber stair leads to the bell-chamber, which contains a single plain bell of 19th-century date.
  • A font of late medieval date displayed inside the church was removed from Clachan to Inverarary Castle in the 19th century and returned to Cairndow in 1990.

None of the monuments in the churchyard are older than the building.

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