St Kessog Church, Luss, Loch Lomond, Scotland

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This is the last post on Luss, Loch Lomond and of course its the church, the present church building was constructed in 1875, and was subject to major restoration works in 2001. The church site has had 1,500 years of continuous Christian presence, being originally founded by Saint Kessog, and has 15 listed ancient monuments on the site. Well I must have missed some, so when we return to visit some of the islands on the loch, a return visit to the graveyard is a must.  It was a case of really not having enough time to explore, as we had a ferry to catch and still had a long way to travel.

Back to the church…… the interior has a magnificent hammer-beam roof in shape of an upturned boat. This may commemorate the drowning of Sir James Colquhoun and his men on the loch in 1873, when returning from a hunting party. The church was built by James, the son of Sir James, in honour of his father.  In the east end of the Church is a medieval inspired statue of St Kessog dating from the late 13th or early 14th centuries when Roman Catholic worship was practised.  The stone font is made from a solid block of sandstone and considered to be about 1000 years old.

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May 2016

 

10 comments

  1. Another beautiful church!! The last headstone was a great delight to see with a little face peeking out from under the moss growing on top of the stone! Hubby liked the fencing,he enjoys working with metal,welding and such like!

    1. Yes its quite cute for a headstone, I should’ve had a better look around as I missed some more, will have to wait till next time. The ironwork fencing is nice, I didn’t really notice it, until you said your husband liked it……should open my eyes wide 🙂

  2. What a contrast of old and new. That font looks like it might have survived a war or two or more! The patterned window interests me because it reminds me of the church I went to as a child. I believe it was built in the 1880’s. At the time there was a belief that images represented idolatry, much like the Moslem faith believes. It was a German congregation that built it, so I don’t think the idea came from England. 🙂

    1. That interesting about the window, I think you are tight, someone else has mention a similar idea. Yes the font came from one of the older churches that were on the site before this one was built. The graveyard is 9th /10th century so the font could have come from that period 🙂

  3. Enjoyed a lengthy visit there about five years ago, when we also had the pleasure of an audio-visual show on the church’s history. Photographed an interesting Viking grave-marker near the church. There are also two in Ch of Irld (Anglican) cemetery at Castledermot, County Kildare. Luss village was beautiful!

  4. Lovely pics, but I particularly liked the stained glass, its variety and range. The abstract window looks Victorian to me but unlike the other 19C windows has no subject, perhaps because it’s not commemorating anybody or anything rather than any Puritan squeamishness about human figures. 19C Noncomformist churches (eg Baptist, Congregationalist, Methodist) rarely depict ‘idols’ even when using the Gothic idiom; an Establishment church is less likely to have such qualms.

    Interesting point about the roof and its similarity to an upturned boat. Unless the architect or patron specifically mentions its symbolism it could simply be that shape because its a local tradition or because the word ‘nave’ derives from Latin navis (boat) from which we also get ‘navy’ and ‘naval’. I’m dubious about implied symbolism because you can read anything you like into anything!

    Sorry, this has turned into a mini-lecture, even rant! Intrigued about the Dark Age (?) pillar stone, assume that’s one of the listed features you mentioned?

    1. Thank you and you may ‘rant’ as much as you like, as I always learn something from them 🙂 I think you are right about the church roof, most likely a story handed down. What really interested me in you comment, is, you noticed the pillar stone, but I can’t find any details of it. Also no one details the listed features, so I’m not sure if it is or is not on the list. Its very strange for it just to be standing there and I will have to dig deeper 🙂

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