Kilchattan Bay is a small village located on the eastern side of the Isle of Bute, approximately 2 miles from its southern most tip and alongside the coast road at the foot of a steep hill called the Suidhe Bhlain (123m) which shields the village from the prevailing westerly wind. It overlooks the Firth of Clyde and the islands of Great and Little Cumbrae. The bay has a half moon form and measures about 1 1/2 miles across the mouth. The northern sandy bay being know as the Wee Bay. The village is named after the sixth century bishop,  Saint Cathan, who established a hermitage at this location in AD 539. His nephew was Saint Blane and a Chapel was established in his honour in the 12th century. The Chapel still exists as a ruin, two miles to the northwest of the village. The village developed initially as a row of fishermen's cottages. The only other significant building was a Corn Mill, which was first licenced in 1474 and  was active into the mid nineteenth century, but has now been converted into a cottage. Sometime in the second half of the eighteenth century the 3rd Earl of Bute had built a ‘draw-kiln’ for burning lime which was sold to his tenants. A successor to this kiln was built around 1820, and still stands (behind Kiln Villa). The lime was quarried from below Kelspoke Castle (now a long lake), much was exported by boat from Kilchattan quay.  A stone quay was constructed in 1822 and used to export lime, tiles and agricultural products and import coal and other essential materials. The quay was hampered by being only accessible by boat at high tide. In 1840 the Marquis of Bute established the Kilchattan Bay Tile Works. In the 1880's  the village developed as a holiday resort with the building of villas, the St Blane's Hotel and a wooden Steamer Pier.The pier was opened in 1880, and was used by steamers on the Wemyss Bay-Arran run, firstly by Gillies & Campbell and then by the Caledonian Steam Packet Company. It remained on the Fairlie to Brodick roster of the Glen Rosa II until 1933. There was also a service from Largs and Millport.By 1955 traffic had fallen and the pier was closed. Kilchattan Bay remains a quiet and friendly resort, popular with Clyde sailors. Today its south end forms the start of the West Island Way, a footpath that runs round most of the island of Bute.


Boats in Kilchattan Bay
Stormy weather at Kilchattan Bay Old Pier
Shore Road Kilchattan Bay looking north from Old Pier Shore Road Kilchattan Bay looking South from Old Pier
Wee Bay from Old Pier Kilchattan Bay
The Wee Bay and Kingarth from Suidhe Hill
PICTURES FROM THE PAST

STONE AND STEAMER PIERS