History and Culture

The area in and around Taynuilt has been occupied for thousands of years and ancient duns, standing stones and other venerable features still remain. The first recorded historic feature is the church site which has been occupied since Celtic times right through to the present church which was constructed in 1829.

The striking landscape and seascape, wildlife and fauna inspire artists, authors and photographers alike. And the variation of season, weather and light only add to the perpetual need to capture the image.

Cruachan Power Station

The Hollow Mountain (the site of the world’s second-largest hydroelectric power station, which pumps water to a reservoir high up on this “hollow mountain”).

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Barguillean’s ‘Angus’ Garden’

Angus’s Garden is a picturesque 9-acre woodland garden set around an 11-acre loch in the Glen Lonan hills.

Nelson’s Monument

What is claimed to have been the first monument to be erected in Britain to commemorate the death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar stands at Taynuilt with an inscription dated 1805 on its base, a reminder of the wide popularity of Nelson and of the many Scots crew and captains at the battle.

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The Sheiling

A gleaming gold statue of two lovers is the centrepiece of a memorial garden laid 1500 ft up on the slopes of Beinn Ghlas.

The Shieling tells the tale of Deirdre of the Sorrows, who was said to have fled to Glen Etive with her lover Naoise. A love story famed in Irish mytholodogy, the hillside retreat has one of the best views in Argyll is situated under the 14 turbines of Beinn Ghlas Windfarm.

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Inverawe Fisheries, Smokery, and Country Park

Here you can find out about smoking fish and other foods, purchase the products, and then enjoy them in a picnic in the country park. Set at the foot of Ben Cruachan, surrounded by beech and oak woods with spectacular views over the River Awe into Glen Lonan, it is the perfect location to unwind in West Scotland. Inverawe boasts a Royal warrant as supplier to Her Majesty the Queen.

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St Conan’s Kirk

St Conan’s Kirk is located in the village of Loch Awe in the parish of Glenorchy And Innishael in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. In a 2016 in Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland public poll it was voted one of the Top 10 buildings in Scotland of the last 100 years.

Designated as world heritage site: 20 July 1971

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Taynuilt War Memorial

Taynuilt war memorial was erected in 1920 to a design by Sir Robert Lorimer.

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Bonawe Furnace

Established in 1753 It stood just to the north of the village, between the rivers Nant and Awe, making use of timber from the local forests for charcoal fuel to smelt iron ore brought by sea from England. The furnace was of such strategic importance that in 1756 a military road was constructed, crossing the Pass of Brander and the Bridge of Awe to reach the furnace.

The buildings have been renovated and the furnace site is now in the care of, and run as an historical attraction by Historic Environment Scotland. It is open to the public from April to October although, if you are visiting out of season, you can still wander freely around the site.

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A word from a local

Painting (Jan Rodger, Taynuilt)

“Sir William Gillies, renowned watercolourist, who painted in the West Highlands would complain if he had good weather on holiday. What our local farmers would call “dirty weather” would be an opportunity to create something wild and dark. Similarly, Joan Eardley, although painting on the North East coast, would when alerted of a coming storm get on her motorbike (in the 1950s) and drive “like the clappers” up from Glasgow to set up her easel weighing it down with a rope to keep it from flying off the cliffs. 

Taynuilt likewise is a wonderful place to witness then sketch and paint the changing weather and light. It has it all, mountains, a dramatic sea loch, old piers and buildings and most of all changing weather usually coming from the West with dramatic shifts in light and, of course, amazing cloud formations. When the weather is sunny and warm as it is now in mid-April it is a truly beautiful place, but when the clouds gather and scatter shadows over Cruachan it is inspirational. It is possible never to become bored with one single view as it differs constantly with the seasons and the light.

Artists have always been drawn to the West Highlands and will continue to come in the future. But Taynuilt offers them something special, a beautiful location and a welcoming, friendly community. So let’s not complain too much about the unpredictable weather. It keeps us motivated and alert to the many opportunities to paint and battle to capture something of the essence of the light and the changing seasonal colour.”

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Wildlife Photography (G. W. Hughes)

“I’m a wildlife photographer from Taynuilt. I have watched wildlife for many years and first picked up a camera when I was 21. Now approaching my 60thyear, I still had that passion that I had all those years ago.

When I moved to Scotland I started to study the otter population in Argyll. I have had many close encounters with this amazing animal and have many photographs which I treasure.

While doing my studies, I have ample opportunity to photograph the other wildlife in the area. Taynuilt is a friendly village with great landscapes and wonderful wildlife and well worth a visit. I will continue to follow my otters and enjoy my time here.

PS Love Otters!”