Pencil Monument : Basic Information

Location: Ayrshire coast, on the Firth of Clyde. About 33 miles (53 km) from Glasgow.
Locality: Largs
County: North Ayrshire
Country: Scotland
Postcode: KA30 8JZ
Architect: J Sandyford Kay of Glasgow

Scottish Gaelic (language native to Scotland) “Largs” the name means “the slopes” or “hillside”
Pencil Monument has been protected as a listed building since 1971.


Height: 70 feet or 21m,
Shape: Pencil Monument
Start of construction: Pier was constructed in 1834
Year Built: 1912
Enterance: The entrance is on the south face and about 6 feet off the ground. Square wooden plate over door inscribed “Memorial Battle of Largs 1263”.
Purpose: It is for the Scottish people to remember the resolve they had in repelling attacks by the Norwegians.

Battle of Largs

It was the site of the Battle of Largs took place in (2 October 1263), The Pencil Monument was built to show respect to the 1263 Battle of Largs.

On this particular day in 1263, the Scottish army attacked a small force of Norwegians.

The battle was won by the Scots and prevented the Vikings from invading the mainland from the west.


An annual festival is held each year in early September. Fireworks are proudly displayed to signal the end of the Viking festival.

In 1956, 1965 and 2002 National Mod is the main festival of Scottish Gaelic literature and has also been held here in the past. It is the festival of song, arts and culture held in a assembly form and one of the more notable cultural festivals in Scotland.

Theatres and venues include Battlefields, pavilion and the Vikingar centre. Every year, at the end of summer, a range of battle re-enactments and living history displays are held to mark the end of Viking rule in Scotland’s west coast.

Present Condition

Today the Pencil Monument is all that remains of the old kirk. Kirk is a Scottish word, meaning a church, or more specifically, the Church of Scotland. When visiting make a point to stop at the Pencil Monument and take in the rich history and beautiful Scottish coastline.

In 2014, it was rated one of the most attractive postcode areas to live in Scotland.
Largs hosts the popular “Largs Live” on the last weekend in June where the towns hosts live music around their pubs, restaurants and other venues over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Despite of its diminished status as a holiday resort, much of Largs is still geared towards tourism.

recommended readings –

All important tourist information.
Largs things to do.

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