McCaig's Tower is a prominent tower on the hillside (called Battery Hill) overlooking Oban in Argyll, Scotland. It is built of Bonawe granite taken from the quarries across Airds Bay, on Loch Etive, from Muckairn, with a circumference of about 200 metres with two-tiers of 94 lancet arches (44 on the bottom and 50 on top).
McCaig's intention was to provide a lasting monument to his family, and provide work for the local stonemasons during the winter months. McCaig was an admirer of Roman and Greek architecture, and had planned for an elaborate structure, based on the Colosseum in Rome. His plans allowed for a museum and art gallery with a central tower to be incorporated. Inside the central tower he planned to commission statues of himself, his siblings and their parents. His death brought an end to construction with only the outer walls completed.
The empty shell of the tower dominates the Oban skyline, and is now a public garden with magnificent views to the islands of Kerrera, Lismore and Mull. The first marriage to be conducted in McCaig's Tower was between Oban High School teachers Jim Maxwell and Margaret Milligan and was reported in the Oban Times published 11 July 2003. Also reported in the Oban Times drinking of alcohol is prohibited in the tower under local by-laws.
- Panorama of McCaig's Tower (QuickTime required)
References and notes
- Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Basic Site Details
- National Library of Scotland 1867 Townplan of Oban (Zoomed on The Battery)
- Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Basic Biographical Details
- National Library of Scotland 1867 Townplan of Oban (Zoomed on John Square)
- Oban Times Archive 2003 - Two for the tower
- Oban Times Archive 2004 - Police announce drinking in public clampdown