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Spanglefish Gold Status Expired 04/12/2013.

Press Release Nov 2013

Historic Kilmun - A new identity for Argyll Mausoleum

The Trustees of Argyll Mausoleum Ltd are proud to announce that a new identity and brand has been selected for the Argyll Mausoleum project in Kilmun - Historic Kilmun.

The Argyll Mausoleum houses the remains of the Dukes and Earls of Argyll, Chiefs of the Clan Campbell, from the 18th century until 1949. The remains of earlier Chiefs and their families going back to the 15th century are buried on and around the site.  The Mausoleum building stands on a site in a locality which is rich in history, with links back to the earliest Christian times in Scotland.

The Argyll Mausoleum project kicked off in 2008 when a community group was brought together with the specific purpose of restoring the Argyll Mausoleum, providing visitor facilities and opening the building to the public. A charitable company – Argyll Mausoleum Ltd – was formed to achieve these objectives. However, as the work has proceeded, our historians have uncovered more and more facts about this amazing site on which the mausoleum is constructed. One of the professional advisors involved has called it ‘the Rosslyn Chapel of the West’. For example, from the start, the Trustees were puzzled why such a powerful family as the Campbell Clan of Argyll would choose such a relatively remote site to bury their dead leaders. There were many suitable sites closer to their ancient homes at Loch Awe or Inveraray. We now believe that, already in the 15th century, this site was already a special place of holiness. Even the name of the Holy Loch would indicate that it was not considered just another loch. The work of our researchers is beginning to give certainty to the legends that existed. We now are finding evidence  that a monk – St Munn – who was a follower of St Columba, established a monastic settlement here in the 7th / 8th century and that was followed by a 12th / 13th century church. A 15th century collegiate church was endowed by Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochae (Loch Awe), to be replaced by the 1841 church we see today.   This site was already well renowned as a place of holiness when Sir Duncan Campbell started the tradition of Campbell burials.

The Trustees now believe that the construction of the Argyll Mausoleum in 1790 was an episode – a significant one nevertheless – in an unfolding story stretching back to the beginnings of Christianity in Scotland. And there is more history to be found as we research further in the years ahead. For that reason, the Trustees have selected the name ‘Historic Kilmun’ to be the overall theme and brand for the site. You will begin to see new logo shortly. It will continue to be used as we develop our marketing program with websites, leaflets, visitor guides, audio-visual aids and similar.

The total funding for this project is made up of significant grants awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Historic Scotland and Argyll & the Islands LEADER. Argyll & Bute Council and the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority have also made major contributions. The rest of the funding package comes from the Church of Scotland, Argyll Estates, contributions from Shanks Argyll and Bute Ltd / Argyll and Bute Council made through the Landfill Communities Fund, together with contributions from local businesses and local fund raising.

We are now ‘Historic Kilmun’.


Notes to editors

1. Argyll Mausoleum Ltd is a charitable company limited by guarantee which has been set up by the Benmore & Kilmun Community Development Trust, with involvement of the Church of Scotland, Argyll & Bute Council, Argyll Estates and advice and support from Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. While the project name has changed to Historic Kilmun, the charitable legal entity will remain Argyll Mausoleum Ltd.   

2. Archaeological and historical research has indicated settlement may date back to 3,500BC. Religious aspects of the site are expected to be traced back to the 7 – 8th century and have links to both the early Celtic church and to the Viking period. Recent archaeological surveys have indicated a possible presence of an 8th century monastic settlements and remains of a 12th century church.

3. The project to restore the Argyll Mausoleum has extensive community support as was demonstrated by the fact that the project featured as one of the top wishes in both the 2008 and 2012 Community Action Plans, which were developed by the Benmore & Kilmun Community Development Trust, with support from the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.7billion across the UK. Website:

About the Landfill Communities Fund

The Landfill Communities Fund enables Landfill Site Operators to divert a proportion of their Landfill Tax bill towards funding environmental and heritage projects in an area containing landfill sites. In Argyll and Bute, it has already funded bird hides, beach tidy ups, sports hall improvements, Bute environmental improvements, Lochgoilhead village improvements, etc.

About LEADER funding

Argyll and the Islands LEADER Programme 2007-13 supports rural economic development projects that are community led and managed. During the last five years LEADER has awarded over £8.5m to more than 260 locally-based projects throughout Argyll and the Islands.

For further information, images and interviews please contact:
David McKenzie, Secretary / Trustee, Argyll Mausoleum Ltd
07850 676574 /


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