The new church at Baile na Cille was built in 1829 to serve all of the Parish of Uig. It replaced the very much smaller thatched church, the ruins of which are evident on low ground next to the Baile na Cille cemetery.
Baile na Cille is in the style of a Telford Church, though apparently not designed by Thomas Telford himself and not a Parliamentary Church. All these churches were uniformly T-shaped and rather austere in design, and Baile na Cille is unusual in incorporating a gallery. It also varies from the standard in that the bell is located at the gable end, rather than in a belfry. (Compare the Telford Church at Berneray.)
The minister at the time was Rev Alexander Macleod, who had arrived in 1824 and under whose powerful ministry the congregation had grown considerably – some 9000 people were said to have travelled from as far afield as Harris to the Communions of 1828, many more than the population of the district. The new church itself accommodated 1000, and was built on high ground, south-facing with a fine view towards the sands and hills.
Rev Macleod and the majority of the congregation migrated to the Free Church in Miavaig in 1843 at the time of the Disruption – leaving behind, according to tradition, an elderly woman and a young girl, known as the “Hundred and One”. Baile na Cille Church continued in use by the Established Church (initially with a very small congregation and occasionally with difficulty in finding a minister).
Latterly it was used in rotation with the Church of Scotland at Miavaig, but it has been out of use since the mid 1990s.
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