A celebration has been held to mark the restoration by a billionaire of a historic North Coast church which had become an eyesore on Scotland’s answer to America’s route 66.
Danish clothing magnate Anders Holch Povlsen’s company Wildland Ltd undertook a full restoration of Eriboll Church in Sutherland, costing “six figures.”
The church is on the 18,000 acre Eriboll Estate owned by Mr Povlsen, who is Scotland’s largest private landowner.
Around 100 people attended the dedication service this week, conducted by the Rev Simon Matthews, who spoke of new beginnings and the “great natural theatre we find ourselves in.”
Tim Kirkwood, CEO of Wildland Ltd, told the service that Eriboll Church – which was built around 1804 – had “watched over some extraordinary events over the last 215 years.”
“In 1934, HMS Hood which had been launched in 1918 as Britain’s biggest warship, spent some time at anchor in Loch Eriboll,” he said.
“Seven years later in 1941, the Hood was sunk by the German warship Bismark, during the battle of the Denmark Straight between Iceland and Greenland. Of the 1,418 members of crew on Board, only three survived.
“A plaque to their memory is on the wall of this church and thanks to the efforts of children from Durness Primary School who started their conservation in 1993, the stones still pick out the name on the hillside.”
Children from Farr High School and the Big Sing Choir provided music and Rachel Parrott gave a reading.