St John’s Church, Ballachulish

Ballachulish St John'sThe next in my photographic series on doorways is St John’s Church in Ballachulish.  This photo was taken on 11th September this year, when we were on our way back from exploring the beautiful Glen Etive.

The village of Ballachulish lies at the foot of Glen Coe, where the mountains finally give way to Loch Linnhe and the Firth of Lorn.

St John’s isn’t an ancient church – it was built in 1842 – but it is an attractive one, and its setting is spectacular.   Until recently, it housed the Appin Chalice, a holy vessel which is thought to have been used by the Appin Regiment (consisting mainly of Stewarts), for communion immediately before the Battle of Culloden in 1746.    However, a notice on the door informed visitors that the chalice is no longer kept in the church.

Chapel, Ballachulish 2Just to one side of the churchyard is a much earlier (and smaller) structure – a tiny little rectangular building, once used as a store-room and converted to a chapel in the 1700s.   In May, when the bluebells are out, it is one of the most photographed places in Glen Coe!

You can read more about it here on The Hazel Tree.

Photos copyright © Jo Woolf


  1. Long, long ago, we missed the last ferry at Ballachulish and had to spend the night on the quay. A lovely spot to be stranded in.

  2. I love the background, as well as the door of course 🙂

    • Thanks, Lynne! I know that you know this church too. It’s surprisingly hard to get a pic that includes the mountains as well, at least with my lens. I didn’t venture inside as there seemed to be a meeting going on.

  3. Joshua Sater says:

    I was here at the end of August of this year. You managed to get a better picture of the setting of this pretty little church than I did!

    • Thank you, Joshua, but I know it’s hard to photograph! It’s surprising, when you look at the surroundings. I took ages trying to get the loch in the picture as well. If you return in early June, it will be surrounded by bluebells.

  4. Where is the Appin Chalice located now?

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