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Cill Naoimh, chapel, cross and burial ground, Kilnave, Islay

A Scheduled Monument in Kintyre and the Islands, Argyll and Bute

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8602 / 55°51'36"N

Longitude: -6.3401 / 6°20'24"W

OS Eastings: 128524

OS Northings: 671518

OS Grid: NR285715

Mapcode National: GBR BFQ7.4QF

Mapcode Global: WGYGD.LY3X

Entry Name: Cill Naoimh, chapel, cross and burial ground, Kilnave, Islay

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1963

Last Amended: 5 December 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2338

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross (free-standing); Ecclesiastical: chapel

Location: Kilchoman

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Kintyre and the Islands

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument consists of a medieval chapel and Early Christian cross, together with part of the burial ground in which they stand.

The chapel, which is probably of late medieval date, is roofless but otherwise almost intact, and measures 11.0m E-W by 6.1m N-S across walls 0.9m in thickness. It is built of rubble bonded in lime mortar and rows of putlog holes are visible in both gables. Internally, much original wall-plaster survives. The chapel is entered from the W through a segment-headed doorway with a draw bar socket. The footings of the altar remain, and this was lit from the S and the E by 2 round-headed windows with splayed internal jambs and stepped sills. No other windows are apparent. Local tradition holds that the chapel was burned in 1598, after the Battle of Traigh Ghruineard.

The free-standing cross is probably of 8th-century date. It is carved of a single thin slab of stone 3.35m high and 6.5cm thick, and originally measured 1.04m across the arms. The cross head has deep armpits but no ring. The E face of the cross is carved in low relief in a series of 8 panels within a 5cm plain margin. The ornament includes interlace-work, spiral-work and one panel of key ornament. Fragments have broken off the head and both arms, and the surface has laminated badly. The W face is plain. The cross has since 1984 stood in a reconstructed cist-type base, fragments of which had been excavated following the temporary removal of the cross in 1981.

The cross attests to the early ecclesiastical use of the site, although the extent of the contemporary enclosure is not known. Subsequently the area was used as a burial ground, and one late medieval graveslab of West Highland type is visible.

The area to be scheduled includes the chapel, the cross and part of the associated burial ground, almost certainly standing on part of the site of an early Christian monastic settlement. It is roughly rectangular in shape and measures approximately 30.5m E-W by approximately 27m N-S. It extends 15m S of the S wall of the chapel and 6m N of the N wall of the chapel, to the top of a bank which is likely to mark the limit of the medieval burial ground, and it extends to the inner faces of the burial ground walls to the E and W of the chapel, as defined in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography
No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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