Friends of Kilbride

About this Organisation

A charity dedicated to the preservation of historic Kilbride in Argyll, Scotland.

A little bit of history

The first written reference to Kilbride is to be found in the historical document Origines Parochiale Scotia (OPS). OPS tells us that in 1249 Alexander II “granted the see of Argyll the Parish Church of St Bride the Virgin in Lorn”. There are some 319 known graves at Kilbride, dating from as far back as the 13th century to the present day.

The histories of Scotland, the island of Kerrera, Kilbride and Clan MacDougall are inextricably linked. Legend has is that in the 5th century the Celtic St Bride sent Christian missionaries from Ireland to the West Coast of Scotland. It is thought that some form of church structure has existed at Kilbride since that time.

The existing structure dates from 1706. The adjacent MacDougall burial aisle dates from 1786 and contains both Medieval and more modern funerary monuments. MacDougall clan chiefs, admirals and men of the cloth all lie here in this historic “Kirk in the Glen”.

Much has been written of their turbulent lives, but also worthy of respect are the common folk who lie at their rest in Kilbride. Here you will find the blacksmith’s horse - shoe fence, the Sinclair enclosure, including the marker for the Master of the SS Shandon, and the final resting place of the MacKinnon brothers of Kerrera tragically drowned at sea.

Having been abandoned in the 19th century the old kirk fell into ruin, became overgrown and neglected. We wanted to change that. Since then volunteers have made a huge effort.

The bracken and bramble fell to sickle and strimmer. Railings were painted, hinges oiled and loosened. Marble grave markers, hidden for decades in a confusion of ivy or under moss emerged to tell their heroic stories.

“Friends of Kilbride” is a dedicated team of volunteers who decided to join forces to try to save this ancient place. In 2015 we became a registered charity, (SCO46175). Now we are ready to take the next steps, clean up, recruit new “Friends” and gain funding to help us achieve our long term goals.

We want to continue this work and breathe new life into the Parish Church of Saint Bride, the Virgin of Lorn. To once again welcome visitors and locals, curious schoolchildren, enquiring academics or people researching their family history.


Organisation Type

Historic Building Library or Archive


An Tobar
PA34 4SE
Entry last updated: December 10th, 2018

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