Our Lady of the Braes Roman Catholic Church (Former), Lochailort

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Our Lady of the Braes Roman Catholic Church (Former)
Other Name(s)
Lochailort Chapel (Former); Polnish Chapel (Former)
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NM 75119 82790
Location Type
HS Reference No


Plain, lancet-Gothic whitewashed church, spectacularly-sited on hill-top above Loch Ailort. Steep-gabled with cross finials, rectangular-plan, 3 buttressed bays, door in liturgical west (actually east) gable; lower chancel. Rubble; slate roofs. (Historic Scotland)

Built to serve the now deserted townships of Ardnish and Polnish, this lone monument to the former inhabitants of the empty landscape has a poignant significance. (M Miers) The church also featured in the film Local Hero starring Burt Lancaster.
Building Dates
Possibly 1872

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
May 1993, July 2000, 16/09/2010, 12/10/2011, 30/5/2013
Development History
May 1993: External inspection reveals the church to stand unused in a remote location. It has been vacant since 1986 but Planning Permission now exists for conversion to a dwelling. It is being marketed via MacArtthur Stewart of Fort William. 1994: The church is removed from the market. August 1996: Planning Permission is granted for change of use, construction of an access drive and the installation of a drainage system. 23 June 1998: The Daily Mail reports on the church's inclusion on the Buildings at Risk Register. 9 August 1998: The Sunday Express reports that the church is to be marketed once more at £55,000. July 2000: External inspection reveals no change. 2001: The church is sold.
September 2010: External inspection finds the church is benefitting some level of maintenance. The rainwater goods are in fair conditon and appear to be being kept clear of plants. The render is in poor condition and has come off in patches. The windows in the gable ends would benefit from a coat of paint. Planning permission and listed building consent for change of use and alteration to a dwelling house in June 2001, ref: 00/00513/LBCLO & 00/00512/FULLO.
October 2011: External inspection finds no signficant change from the previous site visit.
30 May 2013: External inspection finds no significant change from the previous site visit.
9 September 2016: A member of the public advises the property has changed ownership recently with some external maintenance works now underway.
11 January 2019: Listed Building Consent for alteration and conversion to a dwelling is being sought ref: 18/05923/LBC.
17 April 2019: A member of the public notes the property has been re-painted and the access road cleared.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Unverified see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
The Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (2008) Mary Miers p 122-123
Online Resources
Churches and Chapels
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit