Local Hero church to be turned into family home

The church that featured in classic Scottish film Local Hero is to be converted into a family home.

Lady of the Braes Chruch at Loch Ailort starred in the 1983 classic film Local Hero. PIC: www.geograph.org/MJ Richardson.

Lady of the Braes Roman Catholic Church sits in a spectacular hill-top location above Loch Ailort in Lochaber and served as a community rallying point in Bill Forsyth’s 1983 comedy drama.

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The church’s new owners have lodged plans to convert the property into a house by creating a new floor inside. Rooflights and new window will also be added.

Highland Council is currently dealing with the planning application for Lady of the Braes, a category B listed building, which is now included on the Buildings at Risk register.

“Built to serve the now deserted townships of Ardnish and Polnish, this lone monument to the former inhabitants of the empty landscape has a poignant significance,” an entry on the register said.

The church, built in 1872, features in key scenes in the film about an American oil firm’s bid to buy over a Highland village and build an oil refinery.

The village hotelier, chartered accountant and spokesman Gordon Urquhart, played by Denis Lawson, features in the film addressing villagers from the pulpit at Lady of the Braes.

In the film, the church overlooks the beach but in reality Lady of the Braes sits next to the main A830 to Mallaig.

Beach scenes were shot at Camusdarach Beach in Morar with one of the houses overlooking the shire disguised as the church using a plastic facade.