Arisaig, St. Mary’s Church.

St Mary’s Arisaig dates from 1849.  The Rev. William McIntosh was determined to make a statement in stone and built high from a low site.  The tower of St Mary’s dwarfed that of the former chapel in the village. 

 It was only erected thanks to the intervention of Angus MacDonald of Glenaladale who wrote to Bishop Scott:  ‘I merely beg to suggest to your Lordship that you will have the goodness to allow carry thro’ the plan as at present fixed on.  To do away with the Tower would completely destroy the appearance of the whole Edifice.’ 

 The vicar general planned to add a lead-covered wooden spire with a gilt cross above it.  That never happened, but the apex cross finial at the east end of the steep-roofed church was the first of its kind in the Highlands.  The clock came later.  Another first in the west was the ten hundredweight bell high up in the tower.  St Margaret’s chapel in Huntly had led the way with legal peals following Catholic Emancipation. Read more