Ancient Monuments

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St Kenneth's Church and cross slab, Laggan

A Scheduled Monument in Badenoch and Strathspey, Highland

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Latitude: 56.9752 / 56°58'30"N

Longitude: -4.4116 / 4°24'41"W

OS Eastings: 253513

OS Northings: 789693

OS Grid: NN535896

Mapcode National: GBR HBG8.ZY5

Mapcode Global: WH3HL.6YH4

Entry Name: St Kenneth's Church and cross slab, Laggan

Scheduled Date: 19 July 1993

Last Amended: 26 September 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5703

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross slab; Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Laggan

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Badenoch and Strathspey

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises the remains of a medieval church situated on a plateau above the head of Loch Laggan at c.250m OD, and an Early Christian cross slab which stands within the graveyard. The church was originally scheduled in 1993. The monument is being re-scheduled now to include the cross slab.

The church is dedicated to St Kenneth, "Cainnech Mocu Dalon of Achadh Bo", an Irish Saint who founded the monastery of Aghabo in Laois and died about AD 600. The present church is medieval but retains the name of the original foundation, "Laggan-Choinnich", which translates as the hollow of St Kenneth. The site of this earlier building is probably nearby. The existing church is recorded as "Laggan Choinich" on a map of Badenoch and Lochaber by R. Gordon of Straloch in 1641/48.

The rectangular church measures 17.5m by 5.75m, within walls 0.9m thick. The W gable is virtually intact, but the E gable and intervening walls are reduced to about 1.9m in height. The walls are rubble-core with random-coursed outer faces. The S wall is strengthened by the addition of an external buttress to the E of the entrance, where there is a recessed font in the jamb. At the E end of the S wall there is a tomb recess with an arched canopy (partly obscured beneath the present ground level).

To the S of the church stands an upright, rectangular cross slab, possibly dating to the 10th century. The slab is located some 8m S of the S wall of the church and 22m W of the E boundary wall of the graveyard. It stands about 2m high and is 1m wide and 0.5m thick. A simple cross is incised upon its W face. It has been broken in the past (apparently since 1992). The lower half of the stone is in situ, whilst the remainder has been re-erected against its W side.

In plan, the area to be scheduled comprises two rectangles, a larger one aligned roughly E-W which is centred on the church, and a smaller one aligned roughly N-S, centred on the cross slab. The largest area extends up to 2m from the exterior walls of the church itself and measures a maximum of 23.5m E-W by 10.5m N-S. The scheduled area around the cross slab has maximum dimensions of 4m N-S by 2.1m E-W. Both areas are shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it is an interesting example of a Medieval church which preserves the dedication to the early Irish Saint Kenneth of Achadh Bo (died AD 600), although place names suggest the original foundation is probably located at a different spot, the monument probably overlies an earlier building. As such the monument provides and has the potential to provide further evidence, through analysis and excavation, which may contribute to our understanding of ecclesiastical architecture, burial practices, local history and traditional culture, place-name studies, parochial history and settlement evolution.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NN58NW 1.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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