While on holiday in Scotland earlier in the year we visited the Slate Islands not far from Oban, we were on the Isle of Seil when we found something quite amazing.
We have been to the Islands before but had never noticed the church, a big sign stopped us in our tracts ‘Church Open Stained Glass Windows by Douglas Strachan’ I must admit looking at the church I did think they might mean maybe a small window……becuase the last time I had seen windows by Douglas Strachan, was in St Andrews Cathedral Church, Holy Trinity, on the east coast of Scotland and they were big beautiful windows.
Walking up the hill to Kilbrandon Church I did wonder what was in store for us, but the walk was worth it the views were wonderful.
I was, in fact, a bit apprehensive, because I really didn’t know what to expect……..I went in first and I could not believe my eyes……a whole church of Douglas Strachin stained glass windows out in the middle of nowhere, how did they get there.
A little about Douglas Strachan (1875 – 1950) He was a native of Aberdeen and worked there as an artist craftsman from 1900 -1910. He then moved to Edinburgh and then to Lasswade, Midlothian, where he worked until his death in 1950.
He was one of the most influential stained glass artists of the first half of the 20th century in the UK and regarded as the founder of the modern tradition of stained glass design.
There are some 340 windows in various places…….but I was annoyed with myself as I had been in Iona Abbey the day before and there is a Strachan window in the Abbey…… I missed it….Oh well a 3rd visit to Iona on the cards then.
There are 5 windows in this quite plain church from its exterior, but the interior with the light coming through these wonderful windows was beautiful. The glass is an uneven texture and it sparkles, it was very difficult for me capture this to show you…….but they are beautiful anyway.
The five windows were given to the church by the late Miss Katherine Mackinnon in memory of the Marchioness of Bredalbane in 1938. The glass has been subject to extensive repairs over the years and protective glass added. The protection was added mainly because of the situation of the church up on the hill and the damage it was causing to the windows.
Although not an outstanding church it does have some nice details apart from the amazing glass and wonderful views. It really is a must to visit if you are ever in the area, I can’t really capture the sheer beauty of the windows, I can only hint at the beauty of them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.