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Kilmore, church and burial ground

A Scheduled Monument in Oban South and the Isles, Argyll and Bute

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.5876 / 56°35'15"N

Longitude: -6.1773 / 6°10'38"W

OS Eastings: 143616

OS Northings: 751770

OS Grid: NM436517

Mapcode National: GBR CC49.M8X

Mapcode Global: WGZD4.2PP8

Entry Name: Kilmore, church and burial ground

Scheduled Date: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10705

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Kilninian and Kilmore

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of Kilmore Church and burial ground (or the Old Parish Church of Kilcolmkill), which is medieval in date and visible as turf-covered footings. The monument is situated at about 60m OD, on a knoll some 0.6km SE of the small village of Dervaig.

The church was one of seven medieval parish churches on Mull and was annexed to Iona Abbey in the early 15th century. The Parish of Kilcolmkill was united with Kilninian in 1628, but Kilmore Church continued in use until 1754 when a successor was built in Dervaig. This was itself replaced in 1905 by the present Kilmore Kirk.

On the summit of the knoll, turf-covered footings standing up to 1m high may be identified as the E and S walls of a rectangular structure, Kilmore Church. The burial ground, an irregular trapezoid in shape, is enclosed by a boundary wall. The entrance is currently located at the E corner; evidence of an older entrance is visible midway along the SE wall.

Within the burial ground there survives the lower part (about 1m in length) of a 14th- or 15th-century graveslab, decorated with a sword, plant-scrolls and a pair of shears. Two fragments of a free-standing cross of a similar date formerly stood in the burial ground: one fragment is now housed within the present Kilmore Church. Some notable 17th- and 18th-century funerary monuments also survive. The funerary monuments and burial enclosures of greatest antiquity lie along the ridge that forms the highest part of the site.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described, including the graveyard walls but excluding any burial lairs which are in use. It is irregular in plan with maximum dimensions of 88m WNW-ESE by 114m N-S, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a medieval ecclesiastical centre associated with Iona Abbey. Its significance is enhanced by the considerable archaeological potential of the monument, given its early date of abandonment. The survival of parts of an important medieval gravestone and a free-standing cross demonstrates that other carved stones of intrinsic value might also survive, buried in the graveyard.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as 'Mull, Dervaig, Kilmore Parish Church', NM45SW 11.00 and 'Kilmore Parish Church, Mull' (cross fragments) NM45SW 11.01.

References:

Cowan I B 1967, 'The parishes of Medieval Scotland', SCOT REC SOC, No. 93, Edinburgh, 99.

Duns J 1883, 'Notes on North Mull (second communication)', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 17, 343-345.

Graham A 1926, 'Some carved stones form Argyll', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 60, 123-125.

NSA 1845, NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT, Vol. 7: Argyll, 344.

ORIGINES PAROCHIALES SCOTIAE: THE ANTIQUITIES ECCLESIASTICAL AND TERRITORIAL OF THE PARISHES OF SCOTLAND, Edinburgh, Vol. 2, No. 1, 324.

RCAHMS 1980a, ARGYLL: AN INVENTORY OF THE MONUMENTS VOLUME 3: MULL, TIREE, COLL AND NORTHERN ARGYLL (EXCLUDING THE EARLY MEDIEVAL AND LATER MONUMENTS OF IONA), Edinburgh: HMSO, No. 295, 144-146.

Richardson J S 1927, 'The Campbell of Lerags cross at Kilbride, near Oban, with a note on cross-heads of late Medieval date in the west Highlands', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 61, 153.

Scott H et al eds. 1915-61, FASTI ECCLESIAE SCOTICANAE: THE SUCCESSION OF MINISTERS IN THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND FROM THE REFORMATION, Edinburgh, Vol. 4, 114.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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