St Conan’s Kirk is located in the village of Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. In a 2016 Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland public poll it was voted one of the Top 10 buildings in Scotland of the last 100 years. It was established as a chapel of ease by the Campbells of Innis Chonan.
The original St Conan’s Kirk was built between 1881 and 1886, and comprised the nave and part of the choir of the later church that visitors see today. Walter Campbell had grander plans, however, and in 1907 he began work on a much more ambitious church. Walter worked on this until his death in 1914, and his sister Helen ran the project from 1918 until her death in 1927. The church was completed by their trustees.
All the stone used to build St Conan’s came from boulders on nearby hillsides that were rolled to the site before being worked.The new St Conan’s Kirk was first used for worship in 1930. It is magnificent, beautiful, remarkable, eccentric and just a little bizarre. Norman doorway, Saxon tower, Gothic flying buttresses, and Celtic crosses can all be found there, as well as a curious fragment of bone from the leg of Robert the Bruce.
Walter Campbell did not design the church to conform to any particular style. Rather he took ideas and designs from different places and periods and produced something that serves as a collection of the best or most interesting features drawn from many other churches.
St. Conan’s Kirk, Loch Awe, Argyll and Bute
Content: The Heart and Soul of Scotland