Scotland

From the remote Western Isles to the vibrant city of Edinburgh... 

…Scotland’s unique churches are a showcase of its rich history and heritage

Details and galleries of those I have visited so far are in postcode order below,or click on the map link to view them by location

St Andrew, Callander

FK17 8AL – Leny Road

 

Located in the bustling little town of Callander, St Andrew’s is a quaint church with a neatly trimmed yew archway that frames the south porch. It was built in 1857 by the resident stonemason at nearby Stronvar. 

 

St Columba, Stornoway

HS2 0BW – Off A866

 

St Columba lies west of Stornoway, over the causeway that leads to the Isles Eye Peninsula. Its position is precarious, as the ocean slowly erodes the exposed north shore. The oldest parts of the church date from the 13th century, but it is believed that the site was occupied as far back as the 6th by St Catan, who built his monk’s cell there.

St Moluag, Lewis

HS2 0XA - Europie

St Moluag, or Teampull Mholuaidh as it known in Gaelic, is reached from the road by a long, narrow path between two neighbouring fields. It’s so long and straight, in fact, that it resembles the kind of vanishing point road you see in movies.

St Clement, Rodel

HS5 3TW - Isle of Harris

The church of St Clement can be found at the end of a long and narrow road in the small village of Rodel on the beautiful Isle of Harris. Rodel was once the historic capital of the island and, if the church seems familiar, that may be due in part to it being featured heavily in the BBCs Call the Midwife 2019 Christmas special, Babies It’s Cold Outside.

Kilmur Church of Scotland, North Uist

HS6 5DW - Balranald House

Kilmuir church sits on the shore of a small lochan, just beyond the Balranald Nature Reserve. Built in the local grey stone, the church has a single, two-storey tower with a pyramidal spire.  

HS8 5JJ - Eriskay (22).jpeg

St Michael, Eriskay

HS8 5JJ - Rhuda Ban House, 1 Cnoc Lachlainn

St Michaels sits upon a hill, overlooking the causeway that joins the small Isle of Eriskay to neighbouring South Uist. It was built in 1899 and replaced a much earlier structure previously erected on the site. It was constructed by the islanders themselves using local stone and timber salvaged from wrecks.

HS8 5TY - South Uist (8).jpeg

Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, South Uist

HS8 5TY - B888, Gearraidh na Monadh

I must confess, my first impression of this church was that it was somewhat of a blot on the landscape. In fact, it took me a moment to even realise it was a church as, from a distance, it resembles a rather ghastly 1970s cinema complex. I am, however, glad my curiosity was piqued as it ended up being one of my favourite churches we visited in the Hebrides.

HS9 5XD - Castlebay (29).jpeg

Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Castlebay

HS9 5XD - The Square, Isle of Barra

The church sits high on the hill overlooking the castle in the bay from which the town takes its name. Towards the end of the 1800s, the local population increased significantly as Castlebay grew to be one of the west coast’s leading herring ports.

Barra Church of Scotland, Barra

HS9 5XZ - A888, North Barra

This is the only Protestant church on the isle. It is incredibly well kept and, in recent years, they have added a community room, kitchen and other great facilities for the use of the locals.

St Barr, Northbay

HS9 5YQ - Isle of Barra

St Barr’s is one of those unexpectedly magical churches. Going in, I was instantly taken aback, for most of its tall lancet windows contain simple, yellow glass. As a result, everything is bathed in the most glorious amber light, creating a truly uplifting atmosphere. 

Tarbert Parish Church

PA29 6UP – Tarbert

Tarbert Parish Church sits atop a grassy hill that overlooks the town’s charming harbour where the ferries cross over from the mainland to Kintyre. There are nods throughout the church to the area’s fishing heritage, not only in the quaint Parish banner but also in the carvings of the Celebrant's chair and the lobster pot in the vestibule.

St John’s Cathedral, Oban

PA34 5NT - 129 George Street

St John’s is a rather curious looking building, not only because it does not resemble a typical cathedral but also because it is, as yet, unfinished.The original church, which now forms the central zone of the building, was completed in 1864 and designed by architect David Thompson.

If you are planning on visiting a church, please make sure that you check the opening times before venturing out.