Kilmelford Church stands on rising ground to the west of the main A816 coast road as it passes through the small village of Kilmelford, some 14 miles south of Oban. The minor single track road that passes the church, and from which you access its car park, twists and turns challengingly as it climbs inland towards Loch Avich and provides one of the few routes into the exceptionally remote and little known inland areas to the west of Loch Awe.
Seen from the village the church's slightly raised position, white-painted west gable and red detailing give it a bright and attractive appearance, while the windows and central door give it what could with a little imagination be regarded as a friendly "face". It is tempting to suggest that this is exactly the effect being sought when the gable end was painted white.
Kilmelford Church as you see it today dates back to a major refurbishment in 1890 of a church which had been largely rebuilt in 1785. The very first church on this site was dedicated to St Maelrubha, and appears to have been built around 1400.
Following the Reformation the parish of Kilmelford was merged with that of Kilninver to its north. They remain a joint parish today, with Sunday services alternating between Kilmelford Church and Kilninver Church.
Kilmelford Church is relatively long and narrow for a church built in the late 1700s and it seems likely that it reused the foundations and perhaps parts of the walls of the earlier church. Internally the narrow footprint of the church helps give it a sense of height. The pews and woodwork at the east end are of a chestnut colour, while the structural woodwork of the ceiling, its supports, and the gallery at the western end are of a much darker wood.
Perhaps the two most striking internal features are the eight-spoked wheel window high in the western gable, and at the east end, the rough stone cross. This looks early in date and we assume is a relic of the original church. The most striking monument in the churchyard marks the traditional burial place of the Campbells of Melfort. A nearby tapering grave slab also seems to date back to the origins of the first church on the site.
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Grid Ref: NM 849 130