Ancient Monuments

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Cille Bharra, church, two chapels, and seven grave markers, Barra

A Scheduled Monument in Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Latitude: 57.0395 / 57°2'22"N

Longitude: -7.4343 / 7°26'3"W

OS Eastings: 70521

OS Northings: 807402

OS Grid: NF705074

Mapcode National: GBR 8B13.MN4

Mapcode Global: WGV4V.SB28

Entry Name: Cille Bharra, church, two chapels, and seven grave markers, Barra

Scheduled Date: 6 October 1970

Last Amended: 16 February 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2982

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross-incised stone; Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Barra

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Barraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument comprises the remains of a medieval church, two chapels, four recumbent grave-slabs, two cross-shaped grave-markers and a small slab incised with a Latin cross. The site, at the N end of Barra, is dedicated to St Barr, Findbarr of Cork, who was a follower of St Columba.

The monument was first scheduled in 1970, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present scheduling rectifies this.

St Barr's church probably dates to the 12th or 13th century and was roofless by 1625. It measures 11.6m by 4m within walls 0.7m thick and survives to a maximum height of 2.2m. The doorway was on the N, where there is an earth-fast stoop. Three windows survive, two lighting the altar. Externally the windows have rounded-headed arches, but their interior is pointed, formed by two lintels set diagonally. The church, like the chapels, is built of rubble pinned with shells and built in lime mortar. To the SE are the remains of a small chapel (4.4m by 2m internally within walls 0.6m thick and surviving to a height of about 2m in the W gable) with a surviving round-headed window. The chapel to the NE of the church is probably later and was restored in 1970. Now entered from the S, its original entrance was in the W. Narrow slit windows on the E and side walls illuminate the interior. It now houses four grave-slabs: three West Highland and one ?16th century with a long inscription in Latin letters. It also include a replica of the 10th/11th century runic-inscribed cross, now in the NMS, which was found in 1865 somewhere in the disused graveyard. In the graveyard, to the N of the NE chapel are two earth-fast cross-shaped grave-markers of probable 10th or 11th century date. To the S of the church is a third early grave-marker, a white-washed slab with an incised Latin cross, now painted.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular on plan and measures about 63m from its northern corner to its southern, and 60m from its western to its eastern, to include the above ground remains of the church, chapels and early burial markers and an area around in which evidence associated with the early use of the site may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract. Active burial lairs and above ground modern features, including headstones and the graveyard wall are excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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