Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vandals Everywhere

We've all see evidence of vandalism, but when you come across it on a remote island it truly makes you wonder what drives people to do thoughtless things.

Over the years I've been to Canna several times; and seeing little Canna chapel, with its bell tower that's reminiscent of the great Irish round towers, is always a highlight. Sadly, like St Edward's Church on adjacent Sanday, this beautiful chapel has been the victim of vandals over the years. 

I always thought it would be great fun to climb the bell-tower. But on each visit to Canna I would find the door to the tower locked. However, on a visit in May of 2008, I entered the chapel and saw that someone had pried open the tower door; and in doing so had damaged its iron hinges.

The forced open tower door 
The rusty hinges were bent such that the door could not be closed. I stuck my head in to look up into the tower and take a photo (below). In the photo you can see the bell-rope, and the stepping stones embedded in the tower that allow someone to climb to the bell. I could not resist the temptation, so I used the stepping stones to climb to the top.

On my last visit to Canna (August of 2013) I entered the chapel and saw that the tower door had still not been repaired. But it has been pushed in enough to prevent someone from entering the tower (unless they're inclined to cause more damage by forcing it open a few more inches). Hopefully the door will get fixed in honor of the chapel's 100th birthday (which is this year).

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