Saint Conan's Kirk – Lochawe, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Lochawe, Scotland

Saint Conan's Kirk

This eclectic sanctuary is a hodgepodge of various architectural styles, all crammed into one building.  

This church overlooks Loch Awe, Scotland’s longest freshwater loch. The building is just as beautiful as the scenery that stretches before it.

According to local lore, Walter Douglas-Campbell started constructing the church in 1881 for his mother, who had a difficult time handling the long drive to the nearest church. The sanctuary Douglas-Campbell began building, which was completed after his death, is a peaceful oasis with a serene, spiritual atmosphere.

Douglas-Campbell, an amateur architect, designed the kirk himself. The final result is a hodgepodge of architectural styles, as he pursued beauty over uniformity. You’ll spot hints of styles ranging from ancient Roman to Norman, and some standing stones near the gate add a Celtic flair.

The unique church features some unconventional architectural details. A row of carved owls perches over one wall. A waterspout shaped like a hound appears to chase two hare-shaped waterspouts. It’s said some of the oak beams within the cloister came from two wrecked battleships.

Know Before You Go

Entrance is by donation, which goes toward the upkeep and restoration of the kirk. 

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