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If these hills and stones could speak, they would tell the story of Argyll, from the Bronze Age to the Druid Age, from the Reformation to the Jacobite Uprising, from the birth of modern Scotland to the birth of the British Empire.
Columban missionaries dedicated the original church to St Bridget around the 6th century. Our first reference to it is in a 1249 document ordered by King Alexander II during a political row with Clan MacDougall, and it is the final resting place for the chiefs of this ancient clan.
Today, visitors can explore the 18th century church and session house, as well as more than 300 gravestones, interpreted throughout the site. Kilbride offers peace and tranquillity, while providing a rich understanding of Scottish history, as told through the eyes of one community, much older than Oban, over thousands of years.
For thousands, of years this has been a special place for prayer, contemplation and gathering, and Historic Kilbride continues to play an important part in the community. Burials still take occasionally place in the graveyard, but this serene and sacred space also plays host to joyous congregations, such as weddings, historic re-enactments and family gatherings.
Kilbride was abandoned in the 19th century and left to ruin, but since 2000, a small, but plucky, group of volunteers have donated time, money and labour to rescue this important historic site.Our volunteers have contributed more than £35,000 and thousands of work hours to date to make the site safe and available to visitors and the community. We achieved Historic Environment Scotland Schedule Monument status for the site in June 2019.
Now our Preservation Plan calls for us to urgently stabilise parts of the church, at a cost of £16,000. Without this work, the masonry is at risk of collapsing, risking our conservation efforts and making part of the site unavailable to visitors.
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