Taynuilt (Gaelic "Taigh-an-Uillt" meaning the 'house by the stream') is a large village in Argyll and Bute, Scotland located at the western entrance to the narrow Pass of Brander.

The village is situated on the River Nant about a kilometre before the river flows into Loch Etive at Airds Bay. This is just to the west of a narrowing of the loch down to about 0.2 km. The larger River Awe passes about 1 km to the east of the village and joins the loch just to the east of the narrow point. The West Highland Line and A85 road pass through the village.

The narrows form a natural crossing to Bonawe on the north shore, and for centuries the village was a staging post and resting place for travellers. A small hill immediately to the east of the main street of the village was the site of "Killespickerill" which was built in 1228 as the seat of the Bishop of Argyll. Some of its ruins are incorporated into "Muckairn Parish Church" built in 1829. Across on the north shore of Loch Etive more extensive ruins remain of Ardchattan Priory which was founded in 1230 and in 1308 was the venue for the last Scottish Parliament held in Gaelic. A regular ferry service ran to Bonawe from 1690.

In 1753 the Bonawe Iron Furnace was constructed just to the north of the village, between the rivers Nant and Awe, making use of timber from the local forests for charcoal fuel to smelt iron ore brought by sea from England. The furnace provided work for up to 600 charcoal burners, and was of such strategic importance that in 1756 a military road was constructed, crossing the Pass of Brander and the Bridge of Awe to reach the furnace. Twenty years afterwards the road was extended westward to Connel, and later still on to Oban. Bonawe produced 42,000 cannonballs in 1781. The furnace which closed in 1876 is still substantially complete and is a tourist attraction in the care of Historic Scotland. [ [http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/taynuilt/bonawe/index.html Bonawe Iron Furnace Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland] ]

What is claimed to have been the first monument to be erected in Britain to commemorate the death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar stands at Taynuilt with an inscription dated 1805 on its base, a reminder of the wide popularity of Nelson and of the many Scots crew and captains at the battle. [ [http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/trlout_gfx_en/TRA29483.html England expects — on the trail of Admiral Lord Nelson] Nelson monuments]

The Callander and Oban Railway opened Taynuilt railway station in 1880, making the village a popular place for tourists visiting the Scottish Highlands. The ferry service across Loch Etive to Bonawe eventually became a car ferry, then Connel Bridge, which had been built to carry the railway over tidal rapids the mouth of the loch with cars later sharing it as a toll bridge, was converted to being a road bridge when the railway was closed, and the Taynuilt to Bonawe ferry closed in 1966. You can still go on day trips up and down the loch to see the seals on the Anne of Etive which is a few minutes from Kelly's Pier.

Taynuilt has two main beaches. Airds Bay is a pebble bay with beautiful views to the Duirinnis hill and Bonawe. Kellys pier has both old and new parts to the small pier, with a sweep of pebble beach as well which is used to take dinghies and small craft out onto the loch. Once on the loch you get panoramic views of the loch, Bonawe, Ben Cruachan and on to Connel.

The modern village has a population of about 800 people and is separated into a number of areas including Kirkton, Ichrachan, Airds and Hafton. [ [http://www.taynuilt.net/Business.html Taynuilt Community Council — About Taynuilt & Businesses and Attractions] ] The main A85 road skirts round to the south of the village, so passing motorists only catch a glimpse of the thriving centre with shops, a hairdresser, Robins Nest Tearoom, a post office and a noted antique shop. Taynuilt Golf Club lies immediately to the north west of the village and enjoys scenic views over Airds Bay. [ [http://www.taynuiltgolfclub.co.uk/ Taynuilt Golf Club] ] Taynuilt Shinty Club plays in the village.

Karen Matheson & Donald Shaw of the folk group Capercaillie are from Taynuilt on the southern shore of Loch Etive.


External links

* [http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/taynuilt/taynuilt/index.html Taynuilt Feature Page on Undiscovered Scotland]
*OS Grid Ref gbmaprim|NN007315|NN 007 315

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