Ancient Monuments

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Kilchousland Church, church and burial ground

A Scheduled Monument in South Kintyre, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 55.4407 / 55°26'26"N

Longitude: -5.556 / 5°33'21"W

OS Eastings: 175171

OS Northings: 622066

OS Grid: NR751220

Mapcode National: IRL Y3.N46B

Mapcode Global: GBR DGNB.9V9

Entry Name: Kilchousland Church, church and burial ground

Scheduled Date: 11 June 1971

Last Amended: 8 December 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3042

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Campbeltown

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: South Kintyre

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the remains of Kilchousland Old Parish Church and burial ground. The monument was first scheduled in 1971. On this occasion, an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this. The monument stands within its graveyard on the cliff-edge about 3.5km NE of Campbeltown.

This church served the former parish of Kilchousland, a district which appears to have embraced the eastern half of the Kintyre peninsula between the N. Shore of Campbeltown Loch and Glen Saddell. Little is known of the history of the church, and it may have been abandoned for worship about the time of the unification of Kilchousland parish with those of Kilkerran and Kilmichael, although it continued in use as a burial ground. It appears to have been dedicated to St Constantine.

The remains of the upstanding church consist of a single-chambered oblong structure, constructed in two phases. The N, S, and W walls of the church are almost intact. The east wall, which was standing in 1873 has now almost completely disappeared. The church would have measured 18m E to W by about 6.7m transversely over walls some 0.8m in thickness.

The first phase of construction consisted of a small oblong church of about the 12th century, which was substantially reconstructed and extended eastward at a later date. The oldest portion of the structure is the central section of the north wall, which is constructed of roughly-coursed rubble masonry with dressings of red sandstone. This section of the wall terminates in the east in a vertical series of quoin stones, which evidently represents the NE angle of the original church. Situated within this masonry there are the remains of a small semi-circular headed window, now blocked up. The masonry of the 16th century reconstruction is local rubble with dressings of yellow and red sandstone. Towards the SW angle are remains of a square-headed doorway with chamfered arrises, while the S wall contains two square-headed windows with a similar detail.

The burial ground was once the site of a late medieval cross shaft, the lower part of which is now in Campbeltown museum. The burial ground also contains a number of very fine carved tombstones, mostly dating from the 18th century.

The area to be scheduled includes the church itself and an area around it, in which associated remains can be expected to be found. The area is defined by the boundary wall of the burial ground, which is included in the scheduling. The area has maximum dimensions of about 70m N-S and 25m E-W, as marked in red on the attached map. All burial lairs with remaining rights are excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an example of a 12th century parish church, which was substantially reconstructed in the 16th century. As such, it contributes to an understanding of medieval and early modern art, architecture, religious practices and material culture. This understanding is accentuated by the existence of the collection of early 18th century grave slabs.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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