Friday, 16th June, 2023

Today we had to leave our accommodation at 6:00am in order to catch a ferry from Craignure to Oban. We managed our morning ablutions and the packing up in record time, leaving at 6:03am! Once again, the water was very calm which made the crossing smooth and pleasant.

Lismore Island Lighthouse

Almost back to Oban

We found that the Coronation scene on this letter box had been changed to butterflies and flowers!

Breakfast was at the Café Shore in Oban.

After breakfast, we visited McCaig's Tower. High up above the town of Oban, the tower is an interesting structure which affords panoramic views of the surrounding land and sea.

We then drove to Dunstaffnage Castle, only a few miles from Oban. Dating from the 12th century, it is one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland. It was in decline by 1725 and the last tenant left in 1888. In 1903, some restoration work was done. There were several fires over the years and the castle was handed to the state in 1958.

The driveway to the castle - note the lovely blue skies!

The Courtyard

That's a fireplace in the middle of the photo!

Some internal floors have been restored.

The views from the battlements were extensive - it would have been very difficult for invaders to arrive unseen!

The castle grounds include a very pleasant woodland... which are the ruins of a chapel. As the building was always a family chapel and not a parish church, it too was in ruins by the middle of the 1700s.

As we were making our way toward Auchindrain, near the village of Lochawe, we noticed a sign "Historic Church". Of course, we investigated. To our amazement, we found this huge building! St Conan's Kirk was built from 1881 - 1886 and then extended in 1906-1914. It was designed by Walter Douglas Campbell who was "a man of many interests and talents, a most capable, if somewhat unorthodox professional architect, a determined collector of everything from ships' timbers to medieval windows, a skilled carpenter, and a building engineer." The church includes a variety of architectural styles and many idiosyncrasies of its builder. It was a fascinating place to visit!

The Cloister Garth

An angel helping to hold up the roof

St Michael defeating Satan

Let there be light

This effigy is of Walter Douglas Campbell

The organ screen. Originally, there was a pipe organ but an electronic instrument has now replaced it.

The practical but not very interesting lectern

Looking towards the east end

These stalls are for the local lairds.

Detail of above

An investigation of the exterior of the building also yielded much of interest.

The church was not the only thing of great interest here - there was also a small tea room. This provided us with an excellent lunch, including delicious soup, ploughman's plate, and very fresh bread and scones! We then continued on our way to Auchindrain, an open air museum. This is unusual in that all its buildings were built on site as part of an actual town.

The roof is blackened by centuries of smoke from the fireplace.

Our final visit for the day was to Inverary Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Argyll.

The Entrance Hall

The State Dining Room

The Tapestry Drawing Room

The China Turret is just off the Drawing Room.

Each piece in this dinner service has a different, handpainted flower decorating it.

The Armoury Hall

Similar to arranging flowers?

The Saloon

The Duke's Coronation Robes and Coronet

The sculpture of Queen Victoria was created by one of her daughters, Princess Louise, who married the 9th Duke of Argyll.

The Macarthur Room

This tapestry was in the Northwest Hall. If you look closely, you can see that it has been extended at the top (the flowers hve no relation to the rest of the scene), and on the left.

The Old Kitchen

The Gardens

Satoshi is in the photo to demonstrate the height of this tree.

Dinner was at "The Bambles" in Inverary.

The view from our window at our accommodation, Killean Farmhouse

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