Kilmodan Church

Kilmodan Church. Michael Kaufmann © 2007

Kilmodan Church in the Clachan of Glendaruel
Built in 1783, this Church is the third on the same site but with a different alignment and it is thought that there have been churches on this site since the 10th or 12th century when the church was moved from further up the hill by St Modan’s Well.

St. Modan, to whom the church is dedicated, was an early Celtic saint who lived about the time of St. Columba. His original chapel is said to have been on the hillside to the East of the present church, but the site has not so far been located. There are the ruins of a small building which some archaeologists believe to be St Modan’s original chapel. The 17th century stone on the exterior of the south wall bearing the coat of arms and the initials SDC is said to have come from the previous church and probably commemorates either Sir Dugald Campbell, the first baronet of Auchenbreck who died in 1643, or his namesake, the third baronet, who died in 1661.

John MacLaurin, minister of Kilmodan from 1689-1698, super-intended the printing of the first complete Gaelic psalter in 1694. His son, Colin MacLaurin, the famous mathematician, was born in 1698 in the old manse, still to be seen behind the present one. In 1725, he became Professor of Mathematics at Edinburgh University. He died in 1746 having published much on mathematical and scientific subjects.

Kilmodan Church has an interesting layout containing 3 galleries, the precentor’s chair and table and interlocking communion tables. It is of a T-plan, particularly suited to preaching and peculiar to Scotland. There are interesting plaques concerning John McLaurin and memorials to those who served in the two World Wars. The church yard contains interesting flat stones and a Lapidarium thought to be the burial ground of the Campbells of Auchenbrech, Glendaruel which now contains carved stones from the 13th – 15th Century

Open all year round and well worth a visit, along with the Kilmodan Carved Stones.

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