The Old Chapel at Kilkivan…This is a Grade ‘B’ Listed Building with Historic Scotland
..’In our district the tribal meeting place from very early times would be round the Standing Stone on Kilkivan hill, where can still be seen the outline of Drumfin holding, or Ferm Toun, once owned by the O’May family. This was not a very suitable place for the old, the young or the infirm to hear Kevin, so a site was chosen by the roadside, on the sloping ground, where Kilkivan Church now stands,- convenient, sheltered and picturesque.
We can easily picture the scene – the missionary standing on a grassy mound and, facing him on a lower level, the expectant congregation of people from all the settlement groups between Ballygreggan and Ballygroggan. The gospel message, delivered by the handsome Kevin with power and charm, inspired people to do, for him, what others had done for Kiaran and Columba – to set up a cell or chapel in his honour which later grew to be the church of Kevin (Kilkivan)
We know that these missionaries came and went from 563 A.D. onwards, so we can take it that the foundations sacred to St. Kiaran, St. Columba and St. Kevin are likely to date from round about 600 A.D. It is very unlikely that these places of worship could have had a settled pastor for many years after this, owing to Norse Raids, Pictish wars and internal strife, but would have to depend on missionary visits from Ireland and the Columbian settlement at Iona to carry on religious services.
We note the beautiful ornamental gravestones gathered together near the Eastern gable, but regret that better measures have not yet been taken for their preservation, for wear and weathering have already taken their toll of their original beauty. They were well worth preserving, for Celtic art and workmanship were beautiful significant…’
from: ‘Meanders in South Kintyre’ by James McNeill Published by the Kintyre Antiquarian and Natural History Society.
The first European settler in Kilkivanshire was John Daniel MacTaggart who established a sheep run in the area east of Boonara in the early 1840s.
Mactaggart named his selection “Kilkivan” after the family farm in the Kintyre region of Scotland.