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Loch Eynort,St Maelrubha's Church,chapel and burial ground

A Scheduled Monument in Eilean á Chèo, Highland

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Latitude: 57.2491 / 57°14'56"N

Longitude: -6.3523 / 6°21'8"W

OS Eastings: 137569

OS Northings: 825988

OS Grid: NG375259

Mapcode National: GBR B9PK.K54

Mapcode Global: WGY7T.D294

Entry Name: Loch Eynort,St Maelrubha's Church,chapel and burial ground

Scheduled Date: 26 April 1993

Last Amended: 20 April 2017

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5665

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: chapel

Location: Bracadale

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Eilean á Chèo

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument consists of the remains of a chapel on a site originally dedicated to St Maelrubha, of medieval origin but rebuilt after the Reformation and used as a burial chapel for the Macleods of Talisker: a cadet family of the Dunvegan branch. In the stone-walled burial ground are several sculptured tombstones of medieval date.

The church, situated at the head of Loch Eynort, is located to the E of a larger ruined church of 18th-century date. The smaller building is rectangular-plan, orientated and measures 6.5m by 3.3m within walls 0.75m thick and 2.5m to wallhead level (gable c.5.5m). The walls are rubble with freestone quoins and dressings. Small, square-headed windows pierce the walls and the interior is much lower than the external ground level. Two panels with armorial bearings commemorating the MacLeods are incorporated in the chapel walls.

Recent restoration has shown that the one on the E end of the S wall seems to have been planned for in the construction of the chapel. If this is the case the chapel was probably built or re-built in 1732. The churchyard contains several fine decorated grave-slabs of 14th/15th century date.

The area to be scheduled is irregular, measuring a maximum of 55m E-W by 40m N-S, but specifically excluding the fabric of the larger, later, ruined church, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it is an example of an early medieval invocation (Kilmalrui) which demonstrates continuity of use into the 18th century with the construction of a parish church for Presbyterian use and a private burial chapel, which is likely to incorporate the remains of a medieval church. These elements provide evidence and have the potential to provide further evidence, through excavation, which may increase our understanding of their chronological relationship to each other and to any earlier building on the site, of medieval and early modern architecture, of parish evolution, of Clan history and patronage, and of the spread of the West Highland School of sculpture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NG 32 NE 1.


RCAHMS (1928) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments and Construction of Scotland. Ninth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Small Isles, No. 474, 138-9, Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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