Ancient Monuments

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Kilbride Chapel, old church and graveyard, Lamlash, Arran

A Scheduled Monument in Ardrossan and Arran, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.5443 / 55°32'39"N

Longitude: -5.1204 / 5°7'13"W

OS Eastings: 203229

OS Northings: 632268

OS Grid: NS032322

Mapcode National: GBR FGQ1.Z76

Mapcode Global: WH1MY.9XY0

Entry Name: Kilbride Chapel, old church and graveyard, Lamlash, Arran

Scheduled Date: 6 March 1997

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6639

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: tombstone; Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Kilbride

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Ardrossan and Arran

Traditional County: Buteshire


The monument consists of a roofless church, said to date from the 14th century, together with part of the burial ground in which it stands.

The church, dedicated to St Bride or Bridget, served the parish forming the eastern half of Arran and was the principal church therein. The location of the parish church at this particular spot may result from its proximity to Holy Isle. The church is first documented in 1357, but the dedication suggests the possibility of an earlier foundation.

The church measures approximately 20m E-W by 8m N-S, the walls standing to height of approximately 3m. The wall-plate remains along parts of the side walls. There are 3 doorways and 3 windows in the S wall of the church. The westernmost doorway has lost its lintel and the middle doorway is now blocked. One of the windows (now blocked) has been reduced from a larger opening. There is a further window, with an arched reveal, about half way along the N wall. All the windows are finished externally with a simple chamfer.

Both E and W walls have been partially reconstructed in fairly modern times. A monogrammed stone with the inscription 'FIR GOD' and the date 1618, set in the E wall, appears also to have been set in the former E wall before its collapse. The monogram appears to represent James, 4th Earl of Arran and 2nd Marquis of Hamilton, and his wife Anne Cunningham.

The interior of the church is divided into two unequal portions by a modern wall. Within the W part are 2 supposed aumbries and a possible piscina. One of the aumbries is square and the other has an arched head, but the latter may be a re-used window-head: its arch has a deep chamfer. The possible piscina has a triangular head with a much more shallow chamfer. All three of these features are set at a similar level in the walls.

Within the E part of the church are two grave slabs standing on end, one (apparently upside down) with a cable-moulding around the edge and interlace work at one end. Other grave-slabs and carved stones apparently of medieval date are recorded as being in the burial ground in 1909. These included a slab depicting an armoured figure.

There are a number of very fine post-Reformation headstones in the burial ground, including a slab showing a ploughing scene.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, defined by and including the walls of the old portion of the burial ground, and measuring a maximum of 45m N-S by a maximum of 50m E-W, as defined in red on the accompanying map. It includes the church and its associated burial ground, but excludes any lairs for which burial rights survive.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of one of the two medieval parish churches on Arran. It is the only medieval church or chapel on Arran ' a crucial area in terms of the Lowland/Highland divide in medieval Scotland ' known to preserve above-ground remains. It also has the potential to provide evidence for the development of medieval ecclesiastical architecture and for the organisation of the medieval church in Scotland, for medieval and post-medieval burial practices and for the development of medieval and post-medieval sculpture in the west of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 03 SW 5.


Balfour: The Book of Arran (1909).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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