St Moluag's Cathedral

(Cathedral Church of Lismore, Lismore Parish Church)

A small white-harled parish church which occupies the much-altered Mediaeval choir of a modest cathedral that was dedicated to St. Moluag in the centre of the island of Lismore (Argyll and Bute). The cathedral was built in the 14th century as the seat of the Bishops of Argyll, but the sacristy, nave and a later tower are now reduced to their foundations. It remains one of the oldest ecclesiastical still in regular use for worship. The buttresses are probably original, and Mediaeval doorways are visible, finely exposed inside, together with a piscina, aumbry and sedilia. The doorway in the north wall features a pointed arch flanked by the carved heads of a bishop and a cleric. The building was restored for use by the Church of Scotland in 1749, a further restoration took place c.1900 and a sensitive renovation of the medieval features was undertaken in 1956 by Ian G. Lindsay (1906-66). There are fine stained glass windows, including two by Roland Mitton (b.1946).

St. Moluag is known to have founded a monastic community on Lismore between 561 and 564 AD and it is likely that this cathedral occupies the site of an earlier church.

Several interesting Medieval graveslabs are preserved in the church, with others in the kirkyard. Excavations around the site were undertaken in 1970, 1994 and 2016-17. The entire site is of national importance and was designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1959.

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