Ancient Monuments

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Cill Choinnich, chapel, Kilkenneth, Tiree

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

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Latitude: 56.4956 / 56°29'43"N

Longitude: -6.9687 / 6°58'7"W

OS Eastings: 94329

OS Northings: 744785

OS Grid: NL943447

Mapcode National: GBR 9C5K.4W2

Mapcode Global: WGW8Q.XZRT

Entry Name: Cill Choinnich, chapel, Kilkenneth, Tiree

Scheduled Date: 22 November 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6521

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: chapel

Location: Tiree

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument consists of a chapel, dedicated to St Cainnech, which probably dates from the later Middle Ages. It was a dependent chapel of Soroby Parish Church. It now stands in a hollow in an area of sand-dunes.

The chapel measures 8.7m (E-W) x 3.1m (N-S) within side walls and gable walls measuring respectively 0.7m and 0.8m in thickness. The walls are constructed of random rubble set in lime mortar. The E gable is largely complete, the N and S walls (which bow inwards slightly along their length) are less well preserved, but part of the W gable collapsed shortly before 1974 and only the N end of it now remains.

The chapel was entered through a doorway approximately in the centre of the W wall, the opening formerly having had round-headed arches to its inner and outer faces (a few voussoirs of which survive), and was lit by a pair of narrow windows facing one another towards the E end of the N and S walls. The windows are splayed inwards, with no indication as to how they may have been filled, and the window-heads do not survive.

At some stage the S window embrasure was partially blocked, the loose rubble blocking incorporating an apparently re-used stone bearing an incised cross. There are no indications of any other openings in the walls of the chapel. There are traces of plaster on the inner faces of the S and W walls. There are indications at the NW angle that the chapel may have been intended to be thatched, and the northern slopes of the E gable preserves many of the skew stones.

The chapel is known to have been associated with a burial ground which had been abandoned before the end of the 18th century. The chapel stands within a grassed tract of sand-dunes and is partly buried by them, and there are no obvious surface traces of the burial ground. A drystone wall reported by RCAHMS in 1974 to surround an area of raised ground immediately to the SE of the chapel (but which could not be traced in 1995) may have been associated with a late phase of use of the burial ground. It is not known when the chapel was abandoned for worship.

The area to be scheduled is a rectangular measuring 20m (E-W) x 15m (N-S) aligned with and centred on the chapel. It includes the chapel and part of the burial ground known to have been associated with it.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the well-preserved remains of a small medieval chapel of probably late-medieval date, incorporating interesting architectural detail, and part of the site of its associated burial ground, known to have been abandoned for burial before the end of the 18th century. Study of the remains has the potential to provide information about medieval ecclesiastical architecture and liturgical arrangements, the structure of medieval society and the medieval church in the Scottish Highlands, and the demography of the Inner Hebrides.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




RCAHMS, Inventory of Monuments in Argyll, Vol. 3, 146 and P1 25.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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