Last year in May 2013, on our holiday to explore some of the Inner Hebrides, we visited the Isle of Coll. It was a misty day and we had to get up at 5am to catch the ferry from Oban, it takes about 3 hours to sail there. We had booked a trip that included a taxi around the Island, our taxi driver was a young lady who lived on the Island with her young family.
We visited the castles, which I posted about last year, and as it was still very misty we had a choice, to go and see some more beaches, which were beautiful or just have another drive around the Island before it was time to leave. No, for I had seen the Gothic Church high up the hill when we arrived…..so please can we see the church…..no one had asked to see the church before. Up the hill the taxi went, it was a little steep, but eventually we arrived at the top, the view alone was worth it. Then I thought….what if is locked…..for goodness sake, we are on an Island were everyone knows each other, so I tried the door and of course it opened.
Its such a dinky little church, the wooden fence is to stop the livestock from visiting. Going through the door, I was struck how bright and light the interior was and with the dark wood plus red carpet and cushions made it feel warm and cheery.
Built in 1907 in the Gothic Style, the church is the only one used on the Island, I think our taxi driver said a minister comes once a month and holds a service.
Unlike Tiree, Coll does not have a church history going back to St Columba. The remains of a medieval parish church lie within the walled burial ground of Killunaig, in the centre of the present cemetery. It was dedicated to St Findoca and is first record in 1453. I will have to visit the remains of the church on another visit, this time asking for a trip to the cemetery, but not the church. I would like to return, even if just to see the Island in sunshine, rather than in the mist. It was worth visiting and exploring the church, I just hope it remains in use.