Isle of Mull – Gruline – History


In 1862 The Reverend Mr Rawlinson of Moidart came to Mull to consider the possibility of a monthly visit to Mull to take Episcopalian services, but it was not until 1864 or 1865 that the first service was held. This was in the Industrial Female School at Salen and was conducted by The Reverend Hugh McColl, the incumbent of Strontian and Kinlochmoidart. Thereafter services were held in Glenforsa House, Kilfinichen (where Roman Catholics and Presbyterians also attended), Glengorm, Drumlang, Killiechronan, Killiemore, but mostly at Glenforsa House (now Gruline House).

The building of St Columba’s at Gruline was begun in June 1873. The cost was divided between Captain Parr of Killiechronan and Colonel Greenhill-Gardyne of Glenforsa House. The church was completed in December 1873 and the first service held there in June 1874, with 26 people present for the English service in the morning and 47 for the Gaelic service in the evening. The church and its adjacent burial ground were consecrated on Sunday, 4 th July,1875 by Bishop George Mackarness. It was the first church to be consecrated in Mull for some centuries.

The church has several attractive stained glass windows, one of which is by Charles Kempe, of Charity and two children. Installed in 1912, it is said to be a fine example of his work.