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Cladh Rivigill, burial ground and possible chapel site

A Scheduled Monument in North, West and Central Sutherland, Highland

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Latitude: 58.415 / 58°24'54"N

Longitude: -4.177 / 4°10'37"W

OS Eastings: 272920

OS Northings: 949464

OS Grid: NC729494

Mapcode National: GBR J61H.5F3

Mapcode Global: WH49V.TR4B

Entry Name: Cladh Rivigill, burial ground and possible chapel site

Scheduled Date: 11 December 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10513

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard

Location: Farr

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: North, West and Central Sutherland

Traditional County: Sutherland


The monument comprises Cladh Rivigill burial ground, alternatively known as Cladh Righ-Geal, which is an early Christian burial ground and the possible site of an associated chapel, visible as an earthwork. The monument is situated on a gentle slope some 450m from the E bank of the River Naver, at about 45m OD.

The burial ground was erected on one of several natural mounds in the area; the low-lying area to the S was probably part of the flood plain of the river at one time. The mound measures 33m NW-SE by 30m NE-SW at its maximum extent and the summit measures 13.5m NW-SE by 11.5m NE-SW.

A number of uninscribed graveslabs have been exposed on the surface of the mound in the past. These ranged in size from about 1m to 1.9m by 0.3 to 0.5m, and some of them had header and footer stones. This type of graveslab indicates an early Christian date for the monument.

The remains of an enclosing wall survive around the summit of the mound. This wall stands 2-3 courses high in places and was stone-faced with a rubble core. A chapel may have been sited at one of two possible locations suggested by areas of stone scatter: one on the N arc; and another on the SE arc of the enclosing wall.

A circular stony area below the S side of the mound could denote the presence of either structural remains or turf-covered field stones. The lower W arc of the mound appears to have been quarried which has caused slumping in a number of places.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is an irregular circular shape in plan, with maximum dimensions of 54m NW-SE by 50m NE-SW, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

A modern access track runs along the N boundary of the monument, heading E towards Rhifail. The surface and top 30cm of this track is excluded from the scheduling to allow for its routine maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a relatively undisturbed single-period ecclesiastical site, dating from the early Christian period. It has the potential to contribute to an understanding of early Christianity in this part of Scotland, where this type of site is relatively rare. The apparent presence of undisturbed graves adds to the high archaeological potential of the monument.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NC 74 NW 1.


Horsburgh, J. (1870) 'Notes of cromlechs, duns, hut-circles, chambered cairns, and other remains, in the county of Sutherland', Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland. Vol. 7, 274.

Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey, Vol. 20, 255.

OPS (1855) Origines parochials Scotiae: the antiquities ecclesiastical and territorial of the parishes of Scotland, Vol. 2, 708.

RCAHMS (1911) Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland, No. 257, 88.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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