Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Kirkapol, church 200m north west of Lodge Hotel, Tiree

A Scheduled Monument in Oban South and the Isles, Argyll and Bute

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 56.5242 / 56°31'26"N

Longitude: -6.8112 / 6°48'40"W

OS Eastings: 104238

OS Northings: 747273

OS Grid: NM042472

Mapcode National: GBR 9CKG.YTX

Mapcode Global: WGX9Y.B8VV

Entry Name: Kirkapol, church 200m NW of Lodge Hotel, Tiree

Scheduled Date: 22 November 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6523

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Tiree

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument consists of a roofless church, abandoned for worship since at least the 18th century, together with part of its associated burial ground, containing several late medieval sculptured stones.

The church measures 11.3m E-W by 5.2m N-S within walls varying between 1.1m and 1.3m in thickness. Both gables are complete, but the lower part of the E wall is missing, even though the gable above stands to 8.2m at the apex (the N slope of both gables even preserve part of their copes). The side walls are also preserved to their original height of 4.6m.

The church is not a true rectangle on plan, raising the possibility that another church may have preceded it on the site, preventing a regular plan from being set out. A number of sockets are visible on the inner side of the W gable, apparently for roof timbers and possibly also for a W gallery. Much plaster survives on the internal wall-faces, as do patches of the harling externally.

The church was entered from the W, through a door (now blocked) with a semi-circular head, on the line of the outer wall face, having a drawbar slot on its N side, within the vaulted door embrasure. Modern access is through gaps in the S and E walls. There are 2 round-headed windows in the S wall, both with deeply-splayed internal sills, but the sides are through-splayed from the external arrises, showing no sign of any distinct window frame. The N wall had no openings.

To the E of the church lies a group of 4 late-medieval West Highland graveslabs, and approximately 8m S of the church stands a fragment of a late medieval cross-shaft, re-used as a grave-marker. The enclosure walls of the burial ground join the NE and SW angles of the church, and a separate burial enclosure adjoins the W end of the church.

The church, which was first recorded in 1375, served one of 2 parishes into which the Isle of Tiree was divided during the Middle Ages. The 2 were united (together with the parish of Coll) in 1618 and this church probably continued in use into the 18th century. It was dedicated to St Columba and, although the absence of architectural detail makes it difficult to date, the present church probably dates from the late Middle Ages.

It is quite possible that another church preceded it on this site, not least because the nearby chapel suggests that this was an important ecclesiastical site, while the placename bears evidence to the existence of an ecclesiastical establishment while Norse was still spoken locally.

The area to be scheduled is a rectangle lacking part of its NW corner and measuring 34m E-W by 30m N-S, centred on the church. It extends as far as the stream to the NW and extends approximately 10m from the church in every other direction, as defined in red on the enclosed map. It includes the church, part of the burial ground (including the late medieval graveslabs and cross-shaft), and an area of ground in which is likely that evidence survives for the origins of the burial ground and church and for their construction and use. The scheduling excludes those lairs for which burial rights still exist.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a late medieval church, the parish church of one of the two parishes on Tiree, together with part of its burial ground (including a number of late-medieval sculptured stones). It has the potential to provide evidence for the origins and development of the church in the Hebrides, medieval and post-medieval ecclesiastical architecture, liturgical arrangements and organisation, medieval and post-medieval burial practices and the distribution of late medieval sculpture in the west Highlands.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Reference:

RCAHMS, Argyll 3, No. 310.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.