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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > June 2017 > A Firth of Clyde focal point

A Firth of Clyde focal point

John R Hume traces the roots of a west coast seaside church.

SKELMORLIE, on the west coast of North Ayrshire, was developed from the 1840s as a location for ‘marine villas’ by the Earl of Eglinton, owner of the Skelmorlie estate.

This land came into the hands of the Montgomeries of Eglinton in 1820, as a result of a marriage with one of the Montgomeries of Skelmorlie. Both families had distinguished histories, and Sir Robert Montgomerie is remembered today for building in 1636 a burial aisle attached to the old parish church of Largs. This survived the demolition of the old church as the ‘Skelmorlie Aisle’ now a monument in the care of Scottish Ministers, and looked after by Historic Environment Scotland. The exterior of this aisle is simple and pleasing. The inside is, however, glorious, with painted ceiling decoration and a richly-carved stone family pew above the burial vault, and is well worth visiting.

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