Islay: The Round Church

The Round Church is an iconic and unusually designed church located in Bowmore. Daniel Campbell commissioned and opened the church for public worship in 1769. Inspiration came to Campbell while on a European tour. The Italian architecture Daniel encountered during his travels influenced the unique design. The name of the architect hired by Campbell is still unknown. Theories suggest Campbell hired either a French architect that he met during his travels of Europe or John Adams. Thomas Spalding, a contractor and acquaintance of Daniel helped working on the building. The exterior of the building measures just over 60 feet (18 m). A 19-inch (49-cm) central pillar made of oak supports the structure. As a result of the rapidly increasing Parish population, modifications were made in 1830. The addition of a U-shaped gallery was added to the church to provide extra seating for more members. In 1890, additional changes were made to the entire layout of the ground floor.