Kilbride bell back at Lerags

The Kilbride bell replica takes its place hanging from a larch tree in Lerags

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A replica of Lerag Glen’s historic Kilbride Bell is back home.

The bell, cast by Irene Gunston, Ros Adams and Bryn Richards last August, is now hanging from a larch tree at the entrance to the ancient church site in Lerags Glen – just as experts believe the original one did in the 19th century.

The bell was secured in place by staff from Treeworks Oban which donated the workers’ time and skills free of charge.

Last summer, about 50 people went along to Kilbride Kirk to see the replica being made from the original bronze bell that once rang out across the glen near Oban by a specialist team from Wales who created an outdoor forge to carry out the work.

The Church of Kilbride has played an important part in the area’s history since at least the 13th century and is linked to many stories and traditions. The cemetery contains enclosures where clan chiefs have been buried since before the 18th century.

Dunollie has had possession of the old kirk bell since the chapel was disestablished in 1860, but the clan’s chief kindly loaned it to the Friends of Kilbride in the custody of Myra and Liam Griffin.

According to reports, the bell appeared to have been cast in Glasgow in 1786 and was being transported to Maryland when the ship carrying it was wrecked in the Sound of Kerrera. It was rescued and eventually given to the church at Kilbride where it was first hung on a tree near the chapel, then moved to the chapel itself.

 

Caption: Treeworks Oban staff position the replica Kilbride Bell under a larch tree.