The Church at Kilbride: A past too rich to have no future
On 14 June 2019, Kilbride churchyard, including the church, graves, and MacDougall Memorial Aisle received Scheduled Monument Status.
Located three miles south of Oban in Lerags, Historic Kilbride has played an important part in Scotland’s history and is connected to figures such as Robert Bruce, Alexander II and the Clan MacDougall. In 1249 Alexander II “granted the see of Argyll the Parish Church of St Bride the Virgin in Lorn”. There are some 319 known graves at Kilbride, dating from as far back as the 13th century to the present day. But its history goes much deeper…
For hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years this has been a special place for prayer, contemplation and gathering, and Kilbride Kirk 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 £25,000 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 the west gable 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.
This Summer Wander Argyll is showcasing the rich culture, heritage and arts activity along the NCR75 & NCR78 from Dunoon to Portavadie, Tarbert onto Port Appin. This route captures only a snapshot of the unique collection of skills and activity in Argyll and Historic Kilbride is proud to be a featured stop. Find out more in this short video…