StrathclydeISLEOFCUMBRAECathedralIsles(michalklajbanCC-BY-SA4.0)1 MichalKlajban

Cathedral of the Isles

Consecrated in 1876 as the Cathedral of the Isles, this is the smallest in Britain and an architectural gem.

Isle of Cumbrae, Strathclyde

Opening times

The Cathedral Grounds are open to visitors 24 hours a day throughout the year. The Cathedral is open to visitors from 8.30am until 6pm daily. Morning and evening prayer are said daily at 8.30am and 5.45pm.


College Street
Isle of Cumbrae
KA28 0HE

At first sight it looks very substantial, but the church is in fact attached at its east end to a theologial college and cloister.

It was commissioned by George Boyle, a supporter of the Tractarian (also known as Oxford) Movement, which had strong links with the (Catholic) High Church. He chose William Butterfield as his architect, a man renowned as a master of Gothic Revival style.

The complex of buildings were finished in 1851 and the church finally consecrated in 1876. Stone was quarried on site and this accounts for the lower level of some buildings.

The interior has quite unusual and magnificent furnishings. Separating the nave and the chancel is a superb carved stone cross that appears almost suspended within the arch. In the chancel itself and behind the choir there are bold tiles of red, yellow and blue creating geometric patterns and designed by Butterfield. These contrast wonderfully with the dark wood of the choir. The chancel ceiling depicts the islands ferns and wild flowers.

The stained glass by master craftsmen William Wailes and John Hardman contribute wonderful colour to the fabulous interior.

  • Wildlife haven

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Train station within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Non-accessible toilets in church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Café within 500m

  • Café in church

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Scottish Episcopal Church

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Auld Kirk

Kilbirnie, Strathclyde

The Auld Kirk of Kilburnie combines pre Reformation design with elaborate post Reformation craftsmanship.