McCaig's Tower, sometimes referred to as McCaig's Folly or McCaig's Monument, is a prominent landmark on the hillside (called Battery Hill) overlooking Oban. Built of Bonawe granite taken from the quarries across Airds Bay, on Loch Etive, it has a circumference of about 200 metres with two-tiers of 94 lancet arches (44 on the bottom and 50 on top).
The folly was commissioned, and designed, by the wealthy, philanthropic banker John Stuart McCaig. Erection of the tower began in 1897. One of the aims of the project was a philanthropic one, providing work for idle stonemasons during the winter. As a result, work mainly proceeded during the winter months and it took until McCaig's death in 1902 at the age of 78 for the tower to proceed as far as the completion of the structure as it is seen today.
McCaig was an admirer of Roman and Greek architecture, and had planned for an elaborate structure, based on the Colosseum in Rome. His intention had been to provide a lasting monument to his family and his plans allowed for a museum and art gallery with a central tower to be incorporated. Inside the central tower he planned to commission statues of himself, his siblings and their parents. His death brought an end to construction with only the outer walls completed.
The empty shell of the tower now dominates the Oban skyline, and is now a public garden with magnificent views to the islands of Kerrera, Lismore and Mull. It is a Category B listed building (Historic Scotland Building ID: 38814 Link
British Listed Buildings).
See other images of McCaig's Tower, Oban