Our Guest House

The property consists of  3 buildings, the Cathedral which is joined to the South College, and separate building, the North College.  The College buildings were originally built for students of theology in the Scottish Episcopal Church. Although the College stopped being used as a theology college many years ago, they are still referred to as the North and South College.

The Cathedral which is Britain’s smallest Cathedral is still a working church, used by the local congregation known as “the St Andrew’s Episcopal Congregation at the Cathedral of The Isles”.  Regular 11 am Sunday services still take place at the Cathedral. When the Cathedral is not being used for religious services, it is open to visitors on a daily basis.

The Guest House is a combination of a Visit Scotland 3 Star Guest House and a Christian Retreat House.

The Buildings

The Grade A listed buildings were designed by the famous British Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield, and were completed in 1851.  George Frederick Boyle, the 6th Earl of Glasgow was the benefactor of the cathedral, and commissioned William Butterfield to design the buildings. The 6th Earl of Glasgow had a vision for the Isle of Cumbrae as a new Iona, where the Episcopal Church would be rejuvenated with a Theological College and Collegiate Church to educate a new generation of ministers.

Construction started in 1849 and the cathedral opened in 1851.  The stone for the buildings was locally quarried from the cathedral grounds. The Cathedral and Collegiate Church was consecrated in 1876.

The Grounds

    The guest house allows visitors to enjoy a unique combination of modern conveniences and homemade meals in a building full of history and character.

    The Guest house is set in 8 acres of grounds with 3.5 acres of woodland. There is a croquet lawn, orchard and lawn labyrinth.  Many of the rooms enjoy views of the grounds and church.

    The Cathedral Guest House is part of the registered charity and limited company Island Retreats Ltd (www.island-retreats.org), Charity No, SC023281.  The Cathedral of the Isles Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/cathedraloftheisles.    The Friends of the Cathedral of the Isles website can be found at www.cumbraecathedralfriends.org.