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Congash, chapel, burial ground and symbol stones, 500m south east of

A Scheduled Monument in Badenoch and Strathspey, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.3168 / 57°19'0"N

Longitude: -3.5657 / 3°33'56"W

OS Eastings: 305799

OS Northings: 826221

OS Grid: NJ057262

Mapcode National: GBR K9KC.WYK

Mapcode Global: WH5JQ.6CB6

Entry Name: Congash, chapel, burial ground and symbol stones, 500m SE of

Scheduled Date: 13 May 1968

Last Amended: 12 December 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2662

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: symbol stone; Ecclesiastical: chapel

Location: Abernethy and Kincardine

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Badenoch and Strathspey

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

Description

The monument consists of the footings of a chapel and its associated burial ground, on either side of the entrance to which stands a stone with Pictish symbols.

The enclosure is a flattened circle on plan and measures approximately 35m N-S by 29m E-W. It is enclosed by a stony bank, now approximately 0.8m high, and spread to an average width of 3.0m. The interior of the enclosure is dotted with stones, the result of field clearance over many years, but the footings of a rectangular structure can be traced amidst the later piled stones.

On the S side of the enclosure stand two stones, apparently flanking the entrance to the enclosure; both of these bear Pictish symbols on the inner sides of the jambs. The stone to the W is approximately 1.15m high and 0.8m wide and the carving is clear and well incised; it bears a double disc and Z-rod symbol above a symbol which has been likened to a helmet transfixed by an arrow. The stone to the E is approximately 1m high by 0.65m wide at the bottom and 0.5m wide at the top, and the carvings - a so-called horse-shoe symbol above a so-called elephant symbol - are more heavily weathered. Both stones are of blue gneiss.

There is no documentary evidence to identify the site as that of a chapel and burial ground, but local tradition holds this view. The field in which the site stands is called Parc-an-Caipel. The lack of documentary evidence may suggest that the chapel is of early date.

The area to be scheduled is approximately oval in shape, measuring approximately 48m N-S by 42m E-W, and it extends 5m beyond the rubble spread of the enclosure wall on all sides, as marked in red on the accompanying map. It includes the chapel and burial ground, and incorporates the symbol stones on either side of the entrance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a small burial enclosure and chapel, apparently of early date, the enclosure wall of which incorporates two Pictish symbol stones. Study of the remains has the potential to enhance our understanding of the origins and development of the early church in the Scottish Highlands and of medieval liturgical development, medieval burial practices and demography, and of the function and meaning of Pictish scultpure.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ02NE 1.0.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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