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NR995841 – Kilmodan Church is a beautiful little building, situated on a water-meadow in the Clachan of Glendaruel. It’s an active church and part of West Cowal Churches. There are hillsides and mountains surrounding you on three sides, but they’re far enough away not to feel oppressive. To the south, the River Ruel winds it’s way across the valley floor, making the whole scene feel expansive and peaceful.
The church is easy to find and there are several parking options. Should you wish to make the short hike up to St Modan’s Well beforehand, you might prefer to park in the lay-by above the village, at ///riverbank.blackbird.modest. From here you have a commanding view over the valley floor toward the church. You can complete the walk, then enter the village on foot from the north, visit the chapel and circle back out to collect your car or bicycle.
If you’re in more of a mood for peaceful reflection, then there’s a parking bay near the church at ///waggled.rebirth.schematic, or better yet, a parking area directly in front of the church at ///flip.moss.affirming. This latter is large enough for a minibus or motorhome but the road is narrow and the surface is poor. There’s an information board at the edge of the car park, which introduces you to the Cowal Pilgrimage and encourages you to collect leaflets from inside the church.
The church is regularly in use by the community, and is well maintained by the Friends of Kilmodan and Colintraive. You can enter, during daylight hours, and dedicate the prayer of St Modan to your own church, or simply enjoy the peace and quiet! There’s an ancient graveyard surrounding the church, with generous sized plots and some extraordinarily large headstones. Combined with the peaceful location and beautiful surroundings, this could be one of Scotland’s most enviable resting places.
In the southwest corner of the graveyard (///ripe.devotion.tolerable) is a lapidarium; a gallery of carved and sculpted stones. These are thought to be of the Loch Awe tradition, dating from as early as the fourteenth century, and certainly worth your attention. There’s a visitor book inside the church, please do sign it – it lets people know their work in maintaining this rural gem is appreciated – and if you could also mention this website, we would be most grateful. There should also be a full compliment of leaflets giving more detailed information on each of our pilgrim sites. These were written by Dr Gilbert Markus, and are very interesting in their own right; much of the information they contain is not actually duplicated online.