SAINT CONAN'S KIRK, LOCHAWE

On the shore above Loch Awe in Argyle stands one of the most unusual churches in Scotland, Saint Conan's Kirk. Although the building looks ancient it was in fact only dedicated in 1930. Walter Campbell of Blythswood decided to extend the small parish church which stood on the site to create a memorial for the Campbell's of Blythswood family and work began in 1907. Although there are no specific details in his business papers it is clear that Carrick was heavily involved in the project. Walter Campbell was an amateur architect and enthusiastic collector of the unusual and he decided to act as his own architect on the project, often incorporating materials, objects and curios that he had picked up in his travels into his designs. The result was an amazing eclectic mix of various styles from the Norman and Romanesque of the interior, to Celtic motifs and even pagan symbolism in the form of the stone circle at the entrance gate. This might have proved something of a challenge for any sculptor but perhaps the young Carrick may have found the project liberating, allowing him to make suggestions and to play with, blend and break conventions in a creative way.

 

lochawe interior

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