Scalasaig Parish Church
Scalasaig Parish Church

The Scalasaig Parish Church is a pretty whitewashed Georgian church, built as a chapel of ease, erected in 1802. The church is built to a very simple rectangular plan, with round-headed windows under a slate roof.

The church interior originally had a gallery, reached by an external stair, but this gallery was later removed. The most striking architectural feature is the belfry, which holds a single bell. The belfry is topped by a canopy above which rises a ball finial.

The church stands on a levelled platform, partway up a hill and surrounded by a rubble wall. It measures roughly 14.4m x 8.9m on a north-south axis.

The conical porch and entrance
The conical porch and entrance


The Isle of Colonsay was originally part of the much larger parish of Jura. Since it was obviously challenging for residents of Colonsay and Oronsay to sail to Jura to worship, a local church was needed to serve as a chapel of ease.

It was not until 1861 that Colonsay and Oronsay were separated from Jura and formed their own parish. Scalasaig Parish Church then acquired its present status as a fully-fledged parish church.

The peculiar belfry
The peculiar belfry

The church was designed and built by Michael Carmichael. The building itself cost £444.11s.6d, with fittings and furnishings a further £41.15s.2d. The church was meant to hold 400 worshippers.

The church is not imposing; far from it. It is a simple building, but so perfectly fits its surroundings, and is an important part of Colonsay history.

Getting There

Reaching Scalasaig Parish Church is extremely easy. From the ferry terminal in Scalasaig head straight west on the B8086. Opposite the Colonsay Hotel, a road bends back up the hill, leading directly to the church.

There is a wide lay-by opposite the hotel, with plenty of room for parking, and from there it is a very easy stroll, albeit uphill, to the church. If you want to stretch your legs you can extend the walk past the church to the Lord Colonsay Monument on the summit of the hill.

About Scalasaig Parish Church, Colonsay
Address: B8086, Scalasaig, Isle of Colonsay, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, PA61 7YP
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On the B8086 opposite the Colonsay Hotel
Website: Scalasaig Parish Church, Colonsay
Location map
OS: NR389940
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest

Buaile Riabhach Stone Circle - 0.1 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

Lord Colonsay Monument - 0.2 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Scalasaig Standing Stones - 0.3 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

Dun Eibhinn Fort - 0.5 miles (Castle) Heritage Rating

Fingal's Limpet Hammers - 1.6 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

Colonsay House Gardens - 1.6 miles (Garden) Heritage Rating

Tobar Oran Sculptured Stone - 1.6 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

The Macfie Stone - 1.7 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

Nearest Holiday Cottages to Scalasaig Parish Church, Colonsay:

Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Scalasaig Parish Church. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.

  More self catering near Scalasaig Parish Church, Colonsay

Show self catering cottages near Scalasaig Parish Church, Colonsay