Located three miles south of Oban in Lerags, Kilbride Kirk has played an important part in Scotland’s history and is connected to figures such as Robert Bruce, Alexander II and the Clan MacDougall. 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.
Kilbride was abandoned in the 19th century and left to ruin, but since 2000, a small, but plucky, group of volunteers called ‘Friends of Kilbride‘ (FroK) have donated time, money and labour to rescue this important historic site from oblivion.
I have been working with Friends to kick off their £200,000 fundraising campaign to carry out a preservation plan in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland. We started with a community ceilidh that raised nearly £2,000, and thanks to the generous support of our community and visitors from all over the world, the project has been growing ever since.
Kilbride’s caretaker, Liam Griffin, has developed a interpretive trail on the site, which has been generating a lot of interest and the occasional donation, every pence of which goes toward our daunting goal. He is also available for private tours, and his passion and gift for storytelling are just as inspiring as this beautiful site.
I invite you to visit the Friends of Kilbride website, where you will find an informational video about Kilbride that I made and a nice shiny Donate button if you would like to support the project.
And if you are ever out and about between Oban and Kilmartin, feel free to stop by, have a wander in this peaceful and contemplative landscape, learn a bit about Argyll’s history- and don’t forget to leave a bit in the donation tin!