John Francis Campbell Monument Restoration Appeal

The Glasgow Islay Association has launched an appeal for funding for the restoration of the memorial to the folklorist John Francis Campbell, better known as Iain Òg Ìle, at Cnoc na Dàl on the outskirts of Bridgend. The monument was originally provided by the Comunn Ileach which raised £300 for the project by public subscription. In today’s money, we are talking about a sum in the region of £159,000. The association was also responsible for the provision of the monument at Ballygrant commemorating local dominie Hector MacLean who assisted Campbell in his collection of Highland tales. Continue reading......

Iain Ã’g ÃŒle was born in 1821 and was a great great great grandson of Daniel Campbell of Shawfield, laird of the island from 1726 and whose family ruled with impunity from Islay House for close on 120 years. His father was declared bankrupt in 1848 forcing John Francis to find his own way in the world. He went on to become a distinguished scientist, intrepid traveller and journeyed extensively throughout the Highlands and Islands scrupulously recording west Highland tales and was singularly responsible for rescuing hundreds of these from obscurity.

Despite early misgivings by the academic world, Campbell’s reputation has grown since his death and the publication of 4 volumes of ‘Popular Tales’, along with ‘More Tales’, republished with additional material in 1940, sparked renewed interest in his work. Campbell spent his final years in the south of France where he died in 1885. He is buried under a replica of the Kildalton Cross in a quiet cemetery in Cannes.

His island monument, in the form of an obelisk, was inaugurated in 1887 and bears inscriptions in both English and Gaelic. More information on the appeal available at

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This story was published with kind permission of the Ileach local newspaper.