History in Structure

Hutcheson Monument, Kererra

A Category C Listed Building in Oban North and Lorn, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.4224 / 56°25'20"N

Longitude: -5.4962 / 5°29'46"W

OS Eastings: 184480

OS Northings: 731056

OS Grid: NM844310

Mapcode National: GBR DCTR.18B

Mapcode Global: WH0GC.KT0X

Plus Code: 9C8PCGC3+WG

Entry Name: Hutcheson Monument, Kererra

Listing Name: Carragh Hutcheson, Os cionn Port Àird an t-SNàimh, Cearara / Hutcheson's Monument, Ardantrive, Kerrera

Listing Date: 24 May 2021

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 407425

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52582

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200407425

Location: Kilmore and Kilbride

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban North and Lorn

Parish: Kilmore And Kilbride

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Tagged with: Architectural structure


Granite obelisk memorial to David Hutcheson erected in 1883, on the northeast of Kerrera overlooking Ardantrive Bay. Surrounded by a cast iron fence, the monument comprises an ashlar, square-plan panelled raised pedestal with band course, surmounted by an ashlar obelisk. The pedestal has the inscription 'Erected by a grateful public in memory of David Hutcheson by whose energy and enterprise the benefits of greatly improved steam communication were conferred on the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland 1883'.

Historical development

The monument was erected in 1883 to David Hutcheson, a steamship owner who played an important part in opening up steamship travel from the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides. David Hutcheson and Co. were a well-known firm with boats and steamers running to the West Highlands from the 1850s which was the forerunner of the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry company.

The monument was erected on Kerrera by subscription in 1883, three years after Hutcheson's death.

Statement of Interest

Carragh Hutcheson / Hutcheson's Monument, overlooking Ardantrive Bay, Kerrera meets the criteria of special architectural or historic interest for the following reasons:

Architectural interest


The obelisk is a well-crafted monument in the classical style that is cut and carved using granite ashlar. There is a corniced plinth with large inscribed panel which adds to its design interest. Obelisk style classical monuments were commonly built throughout the 19th century and are not rare. However, what makes this of design interest within its building type is the scale of the monument, its setting and its association with David Hutcheson (see Historic Interest below).


The obelisk is in a prominent location at the northeast end of the island of Kerrera overlooking Ardantrive Bay. It has commanding views of seaborne traffic including the regular CalMac ferry services from Oban to the Hebrides. The location and setting of the monument are significant in recognition of Hutcheson's role in opening up ferry routes in the West Highlands and Islands.

The scale of the monument makes it a prominent feature in the landscape, and the monument can be seen from Oban and the surrounding area. Whilst there is some later development around the site it is low level and does not adversely impact on its setting. The later development includes a series of Second World War ammunition storage huts forming the bomb store for the flying boat base on Kerrera. The earth banked enclosures for the huts and concrete bases for other smaller buildings and structures are visible in aerial photographs of the area. The obelisk is also situated near the Kerrera,Cladh a Bhearnaig, cashel which is a scheduled monument (see SM4224).

Historic interest

Age and rarity

Obelisk monuments are not rare and can be found all over Scotland. They were commonly built throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and range in type from commemorative monuments to notable public figures or major events or as private monuments to individuals, either as on private land or in smaller form as grave markers.

However, this monument is a particularly large example. It is also the only known memorial to David Hutcheson, a pioneer of the ferry and steamship industry in this part of Scotland.

Social historical interest

In the 18th century Oban was a small settlement. By the time the Caledonian Canal was completed in 1822, it had become a bustling destination for those who wished to travel the 'Royal Route' by steamer to Inverness. This monument reflects the importance steamboats have played in the history of the west coast of Scotland supplying the islands with necessities, luxury items and tourism. David Hutcheson and Co. were the first major company to open up travel to remote islands in the area.

Association with people or events of national importance

David Hutcheson is a person of significance in the history of the West Highlands and Islands. His firm's contributions to travel and accessing remote islands is of regional importance whilst contributing to the national prevalence of touring and travelling in Scotland. Hutcheson's association with the monument is directly recorded by its inscription, which is a testament to local feeling and gratitude to Hutcheson and tells the story of his impact on the region.

Hutcheson was related to the owners of the J and G Burns Steamship Company and worked for the company as a clerk before his promotion to manager and later, partner. Hutcheson's connection with J and G Burns lasted until 1851 when they sold their steamers to Hutcheson, his brother Alexander, and David MacBrayne. Hutcheson and his partners acquired Burns' shipping routes which served the Highlands and the Hebrides. David Hutcheson and Co. was the forerunner to Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac), the current west coast ferry service operator.

Since 1822 and the completion of the Caledonian Canal, travel to the West Highlands developed gradually, however the steamers were small with limited accommodation. The 'Royal Route', which David Hutcheson and Co. opened up from Glasgow to Ardrishaig, and then onwards from the Crinan Canal out to the islands and along the west coast, became one of the favourite tours, frequented by many thousands of travellers from all over the world. These new routes attracted other businesses and David Hutcheson and Co. became the largest shipping company serving the area. Over the following years the company continued to thrive and by the late 1870s had fifteen ships.

In 1876 Hutcheson retired, with Alexander retiring two years later, leaving MacBrayne as the sole owner. David Hutcheson died in Glasgow in 1880 and was buried at Pennyfuir Cemetery between Dunstaffnage and Oban.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

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