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Lochawe, St Conan's Church

Church (20th Century), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Site Name Lochawe, St Conan's Church

Classification Church (20th Century), War Memorial(S) (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Loch Awe; St Conan's Kirk; War Memorial Plaques

Canmore ID 112354

Site Number NN12NW 21

NGR NN 11595 26743

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

First 100 images shown. See the Collections panel (below) for a link to all digital images.

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Ardchattan And Muckairn (Argyll And Bute)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Summary Record (May 2006 - September 2007)

Unique and somewhat enchanting and eccentric church building, designed by Walter Douglas Campbell, a wealthy amateur architect and skilled woodworker. Legend has that Campbell began the church so that his mother did not have to travel all the way to Dalmally from the house he had built on the island of Innis Chonain. Begun in 1881-86, the first period of building was a small cruciform church consisting of the modern Nave and part of the Choir. Campbell extended the church from 1907 until his death in 1914, wherafter his sister Helen continued the building until her death in 1927 and the current church was completed in 1930 by Trustees.

Architecture Notes

Loch Awe, St Conan's church.

ARCHITECT: Walter Campbell.


Strathclyde Regional Archives

Account books for building church.

The first church was built and designed on this site by W D Campbell between 1881 and 1886 and now occupies what is now the nave. The church was completed under the supervision of Campbell's sister who died in 1927, the church being dedicated in 1930.

The church incorporates many different styles both in the interior and in the decoration of the exterior. Fragments of Iona Abbey are incorporated into the N wall of the S aisle, and a window from St Mary's Parish Church, South Leith is built into the S wall of the Bruce Chapel. An unusual object is also preserved in the Bruce Chapel: a bell founded in 1843 for Skerryvore Lighthouse (NL82NW 1).

Information from RCAHMS, December 1996.

The church was photographed on behalf of the RCAHMS Listed Buildings Survey in 2007.


Online Gallery (1306 - 1329)

The year 2014 sees the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, in which the army of Robert I of Scotland defeated that of Edward II of England. The battle marked a major turning point in the long, drawn-out struggle of the Wars of Independence.

The Wars have had a lasting influence upon all the nations of the United Kingdom and upon the national story. Each age has seen fit to commemorate the events in its own way: through the perpetuation of the genuine historical associations of buildings and places and also through the endowment of others with improbable or fanciful traditions. Where past generations allowed its historic buildings to decay and disappear, later generations began to value and actively preserve these for their associations. Where an event lacked a tangible reminder, as at Kinghorn where Alexander III was killed in a riding accident, a commemorative monument would be erected to act as a focus. The Wars of Independence predate the fashion for accurate portraiture: the weathered, generic military effigy of Sir James Douglas is one of the few to survive in Scotland. Later centuries saw a need and supplied it by a crowd of images of its historic heroes, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, each depicted according to contemporary taste and imagination. The opening of the new heritage centre at Bannockburn takes this into a new dimension, through the use of three-dimensional, digital technology.

RCAHMS Collections hold many images of these buildings and locations from battlefields, castles and churches, to the many commemorative monuments erected in later years. This gallery highlights a selection of these, including antiquarian sketches, photographic and drawn surveys, and architectural designs.

Publication Account (1985)

St Conan's Church- Lochawe, is a monument to the skills and determination of Waiter Douglas Campbell, who had built a mansion on the island of Innis Chonain in Loch Awe. Campbell designed and built the first church on the site between 1881 and 1886, occupying what is now the nave, but he envisaged a more imposing structure; he devoted himself to the design and building of the church between 1907 and his death in 1914. The completion of the task was supervised by his sister Helen and, although she died in 1927, the church was at last dedicated in 1930.

The church is spacious and light; although designed to juxtapose many different styles both in the interior and in the decoration of the exterior, it is a memorable place to visit. Fragments from Iona Abbey are incorporated into the north wall of the south aisle, and a window from St Mary's Parish Church, South Leith, is built into the south wall of the Bruce Chapel. An unusual object is also preserved in the Bruce Chapel: a bell founded in 1843 for Skerryvore Lighthouse (no. 13).

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles’, (1985).

Photographic Survey (2006 - 2007)

Photorgaphed by the Listed Buildings Area Survey, Argyll upgrade programme.


Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.


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