Doors Open Day 2020: Virtual Visit

Welcome virtual visitors for Doors Open Day 2020!

Alas, the pandemic means it's unwise for anyone to fling their doors open to large numbers of visitors, so please enjoy this collation of videos and photographs from the site. First, a wee bit of history from your tour guide:


The Argyll Mausoleum is one of Scotland's undiscovered historical jewels right on the doorstep of the Cowal Community. It stands connected to, but separate from, the church in Kilmun, Argyll and is the burial place for the Dukes and Earls of Argyll, Chiefs of the Clan Campbell, from the 14th century until 1949.

The tradition of burying the Chiefs of the Campbell clan at Kilmun began, so the legend goes, with the untimely death in the lowlands of Celestine, the son of the Sir Duncan Campbell - "The Black Knight of Loch Awe" - an early leader of the Clan Campbell. In 1442, Sir Duncan, the first Lord Campbell, had endowed a collegiate church on the site. Sir Duncan apparently chose to bury his son at Kilmun. As was common in those times with burials of important people, the body would have been buried beneath the aisle of the church. Sir Duncan and his wife Marjory (great, great grand-daughter of Robert the Bruce) were subsequently also buried in the church with their effigies above the tombs.

From then on, the tradition continued that many of the Dukes of Argyll and their families were buried beneath the aisles of Kilmun church. In 1660, a separate private chapel attached to the church was built for the Argyll tombs. In 1794, the private chapel was demolished and the separate Mausoleum was constructed in its place, with some of the more important remains being moved from the private chapel into the Mausoleum. These included the effigies of Sir Duncan Campbell and his wife.


Okay, that's enough preamble; enjoy your virtual visit! Take a look around; starting with the exterior of the grounds. Here are some drone videos, shot by a local resident, offering an experience you can't get from the ground:




Feel free to have a wander around at your leisure:









Come on inside the mausoleum! We've got something special lined up for you:




That was some local musicians making the most of the acoustics in the mausoleum, we hope you enjoyed it! Please feel free to wander around the grounds, look at some of the exhibits in the visitor centre, and enjoy the stunning stained glass in the church:





















While you're inside the church, don't forget to spend some time listening to our wonderful water organ; there are not many of these left in the UK:




That's all for today folks. If you'd like to learn more about the history of Dunoon and Cowal as a whole, then we recommend that you head on into Dunoon to Castle House Museum.




And if historically holy sites are your thing, then the Faith in Cowal website is an excellent source of information, pictures and pilgrim guides. Here's a wee teaser video from them:



Wishing you all the best, from everyone at Historic Kilmun. We hope to see you in person after the winter!