St Blane’s Chapel lies to the Southern end of the Isle of Bute; and is a ruin which is in remarkable condition considering it’s conception goes back to AD 500. It may well have been an earlier less advanced Chapel to the much more widely known monastery of St Columba on Iona.
The 6th century was the date of the original chapel and as well as being St Blane’s home; it is accredited as also being his final resting place.
St Blane, was born on The Isle of Bute and rose to become a Bishop and confessor in Scotland. He was known to have been educated in Ireland by the Saints Kenneth and Comgall at the behest of his Irish Mother’s brother St Cathan. St Blane who died in 590 is remembered yearly on his feast date which is held on August 10.
The original Chapel structure of St Blane was abandoned during viking raids around AD 790 but later built as a Parish church around 1100s and saw continual use until approximately 1560 when the Protestant Reformation took place.
Situated in a quiet wooded dell around 800 yards from the road, this spot offers stunning views out across the Sound of Bute toward the mountains of Arran, and from the elevated height you feel as though you can see for miles, especially on a clear day which yesterday was.
There is a seat positioned fantastically to enjoy this incredible vista, and a picnic lunch and or coffee flask is to be recommended; as once you sit down the view and the birdsong may transport you to an earlier day and the time may just slip away.
As the walk to the Chapel is over ground which can be undulating, a solid piece of footwear is advisable. I’d also say to be aware that it can be steep in parts if you follow the walkway, but by using the field which runs parallel the climb is less steep but runs longer. If you have your four legged friend with you, be aware that you are walking over farmland and there may be animals in adjacent fields so a commonsense approach is a must.
This Chapel is certainly worth the visit and I know for a fact that I shall return.
Reported by Helen Armet
Photography by Kenny Armet