The Cathedral of The Isles, Millport, is Britain’s smallest Cathedral and dates from 1851. It was built on ground owned by the Boyle family, and its founder, George Frederick Boyle, later became 6th Earl of Glasgow.
It is one of a group of buildings comprising two residential buildings (colleges) and a collegiate church designed by the famous English architect William Butterfield. Planned as a theological college for the Scottish Episcopal Church, in its early days it was seen as a “new” Iona, and in 1876 it was consecrated Cathedral of the Isles.
From the beginning, music has played an important rôle in worship there, and the Cathedral has a warm, resonant acoustic. Following an extensive fund raising campaign, an 1867 tracker action organ, built for the opening of All Saints’ Episcopal Church Edinburgh by Frederick Holt, was restored and installed into the Cathedral during 2004 by Wood of Huddersfield. Together with the restored Erard and Lipp pianos, the 1976 “Cumbrae” harpsichord, and the recently-acquired Bösendorfer concert grand piano, this has transformed the Cathedral’s music.
Present-day musical activities in the Cathedral receive no subsidies, and the Cathedral Musical Resources Fund has been established by the congregational Vestry to support the Cathedral’s music. The Fund’s main source of income is the retiring collection after each concert. Please give generously – the musical artists already have.
Millport, Isle of Cumbrae…… is easily reached from Largs. Take the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry from Largs Pier to Cumbrae Slip, then board the connecting bus to Millport. For the Cathedral, ask to be set down at College Street.
How to find the Cathedral
Many visitors seem unaware of the existence of our little Cathedral because it is situated among trees behind the town. To make your way there, find College Street, which runs at right angles to the seashore, between the Newton Bar and the Garrison grounds. Follow College Street up the gentle hill, past George Street (Church of Our Lady), and a little further on, you will find the entrance to the Cathedral grounds through an elaborate gateway on your right. If you need to bring a vehicle close to the Cathedral, ask directions from one of the shopkeepers.
Retiring collection at each concert in aid of the Cathedral Musical Resources Fund
If you are a UK taxpayer, please use one of our Gift Aid envelopes available at each concert.
For more information on supporting the Cathedral take a look at the Friends of The Cathedral web site here.
For accommodation, booking for weddings and other functions and information on retreats and related events, take a look at the Island Retreats web site here