Ancient Monuments

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St Aula's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Loch a Tuath, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Coordinates

Latitude: 58.2906 / 58°17'26"N

Longitude: -6.284 / 6°17'2"W

OS Eastings: 149029

OS Northings: 941541

OS Grid: NB490415

Mapcode National: GBR B6WT.6G3

Mapcode Global: WGY2M.FWW7

Entry Name: St Aula's Church

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1992

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5343

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Stornoway

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Loch a Tuath

Traditional County: Ross-shire

Description

The monument consists of the ruins of a small pre-Reformation Church situated within a graveyard in use.

It is dedicated to St Aula (St Olaf). This is the only example of a Norse Saint's commemoration in the Western Isles. It is oblong on plan, twin gabled and orientated NW-SE. The external dimensions of the building are 7.5m by 6.1m over walls 0.7-0.9m thick. The masonry is of random rubble with pinnings and lime mortar.

The gables are complete and set back twice: at wallhead (2m) and between skew-put (c.5.5m) and wallhead. The entrance (1.4m high and 0.9m wide) is in the SW wall. There are bar-holes for inner and outer doors. The exterior dressings are chamfered and groove marks on the SE side of the door suggest resetting. Above the entrance on the exterior is a stone carved with the letters: "IB MK" and the date 1681. These are now becoming illegible. The interior lintel of the doorway has fallen and is lying against the NE wall.

There are two windows. The one in the SW wall to the west of the entrance is flat headed and dressed with a deep exterior splay. The other (possibly older) window in the NW wall is a narrow slit window with a deep interior splay without dressings. There was probably a slate floor at some time. E of the church is a contiguous rectangular depression about 1.5m deep orientated in the same direction as the church and measuring 11.5m by 5m.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular and measures a maximum of 25m WNW-ESE by 10m NNE-SSW to include the church and buried archaeological features which may relate to earlier activity, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it preserves evidence of, and has the potential to provide evidence for, ecclesiastical architecture, the nature of Medieval Christian settlement and contemporary material culture in the Outer Isles. Archaeological investigation of the building and its environs may yield information about phases of use of the site.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NB 44 SE 3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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