‘The ford of Torquil’ - which is on the river Shiel. Legend has it that Torquil was leading the Norse invaders who were being pursued by Somerled. They made a stand by the river, just below Acharacle Manse, and there Torquil was slain.

The Parish Church of Acharacle was built in 1829 at a cost of £1478.63 (including manse). It was one of a number churches built in the Highlands and Islands at this time, from Shetland in the north as far south as Oa, on Islay. In 1823 the government, by Act of Parliament, had allocated the sum of £60,000 for the building of up to forty so called ‘Parliamentary’ churches, with manses where appropriate, at a cost of not more than £1500. (The minister’s stipend, or salary, was to be fixed at £100 per year.) The consulting engineer for the project was Thomas Telford who was already at work in the north building roads, bridges and canals. He was born in Eskdale in 1757; died in 1834, as the most respected and skilled engineer of his day. These churches are often known as ‘Telford churches’. To him fell the task of preparing plans, specifications and estimates, as well as overseeing the progress made and inspecting the finished work. The first minister for the new church was Duncan Campbell.

The ‘Telford’ manse is now in private ownership. The present manse (photo) was built in 1903. I have no details as to builder, or cost. If anyone out there knows something more, please contact me, and I’ll add the information.

A view from the Manse garden

The cross acts as a focus for worshippers in Acharacle church, as it occupies a central place on the front wall of the church just above the communion table.
It is made of Ardnamurchan oak, and was designed and constructed by one of our elders, Keith Denison, who lives in Glenborrodale.

The grave of C D Rudd (left cross) opposite the church entrance.
C D Rudd worked with Cecil Rhodes to develop gold and diamond mining in southern Africa. For thirteen years he was managing director of the Gold Mining Company. In 1895 he bought Ardnamurchan estate and built firstly, Glenborrodale Castle (which his wife hated) and secondly Shielbridge House (now demolished)