Ancient Monuments

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Cille Bhrianain,chapel and burial ground,Uinessan,Vatersay

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

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Latitude: 56.9321 / 56°55'55"N

Longitude: -7.4856 / 7°29'8"W

OS Eastings: 66448

OS Northings: 795710

OS Grid: NL664957

Mapcode National: GBR 7BXD.G3L

Mapcode Global: WGV5D.Z1L4

Entry Name: Cille Bhrianain,chapel and burial ground,Uinessan,Vatersay

Scheduled Date: 18 September 1991

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6000

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard; Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Barra

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

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

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument consists of the remains of a Medieval chapel and burial ground, underlying which is a late prehistoric or early Medieval settlement. The chapel is represented by a sub-rectangular foundation, 10m by 3.2m internally, oriented ENE-WSW. The ENE end gable appears to have collapsed outwards. No trace of an entrance can be ascertained in the foundation of the lime-mortared wall.

A roughly rectilinear graveyard surrounds the chapel, measuring about 30m by 20m, its longest dimension being NNW-SSE. At least four upright stone slabs in the N portion of this enclosure are almost certainly grave markers. A slight platform 6m by 4m on the SE wall of the chapel may

be the base of an attached structure. On the outer side of

the graveyard's enclosing bank is a small appended enclosure of similar dimensions, but whether this is the foundation of a building or simply the remains of an enclosure cannot be ascertained.

From disturbed areas near the NE corner of the chapel pottery has been retrieved which suggests the ecclesiastical remains overlie an earlier settlement, perhaps of late Iron Age date. The area to be scheduled is irregular in outline, with a maximum extent N-S of 75m and E-W of 50m, to include the chapel and burial ground and a small area of ground outside within which burials or other traces may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for the evidence it offers, and could offer upon excavation, for ecclesiastical architecture and organisation in the Western Isles. The evidence for underlying settlement offers the possibility of establishing a sequence of site use for the period from late Iron Age to Medieval times which would be of great importance, as such sequences have to date been established in this region only for defensive structures.

The location of the site in an area of shell sand holds out the possibility of excellent preservation for bone and other material seldom preserved in the acidic soils of the west, and excavation of the burials could shed valuable light on Medieval diet and nutrition. This superficially modest monument is therefore of quite remarkable potential importance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NL 69 NE 4.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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