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Keeping watch over Loch Awe

The Very Rev Dr Ian Bradley reflects on a beloved architectural treasure in Argyll.

A CHURCH in Argyll is among the top ten Scottish buildings of the last hundred years.

St Conan’s Kirk, perched on the north shore of Loch Awe between Dalmally and Taynuilt, ranks alongside such iconic and well-known structures as the Scottish Parliament and the National Museum of Scotland in a recent competition organised as part of the Festival of Architecture by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

A year-long process involved people nominating 400 of their favourite buildings across Scotland, of which 100 were chosen by an expert panel including historians and art critics and a final shortlist of ten drawn up on which the public voted. The winner, announced at the end of last year, was the Princes Square shopping centre in Glasgow. The fact that St Conan’s made it through to the final top ten of Scotland’s best buildings of the twentieth century is a remarkable tribute to what is arguably the country’s most quirky, atmospheric and intriguing ecclesiastical building, and one which provides a perfect introduction to the distinctive spiritual landscape of Argyll.

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About Life and Work

Life and Work is the 138-year-old magazine of the Church of Scotland providing news and opinion on every aspect of church and religion within Scotland and further afield.