Ancient Monuments

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Klibreck, chapel, cross-slab and settlement south east of

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

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Latitude: 58.2714 / 58°16'17"N

Longitude: -4.3997 / 4°23'58"W

OS Eastings: 259345

OS Northings: 933924

OS Grid: NC593339

Mapcode National: GBR H6HV.Z9W

Mapcode Global: WH39D.DC4D

Entry Name: Klibreck, chapel, cross-slab and settlement SE of

Scheduled Date: 10 January 1997

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6592

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross-incised stone; Ecclesiastical: chapel; Secular: settlement, includi

Location: Farr

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: North, West and Central Sutherland

Traditional County: Sutherland


The monument consists of a deserted township, within the boundaries of which are a cross-incised standing stone and a further standing stone, together with the footings of a probable pre-Reformation chapel.

The deserted settlement is very extensive and includes examples of a number of different types of structure, possibly dating over an extended period of time. Traces of settlement stretch both E and W of the Klibreck Burn. Some structures are represented by turf-covered footings, others have substantial foundation stones remaining, and some have denuded walls remaining several courses high.

The buildings include round or oval structures, rectangular long-houses, smaller rectangular buildings, at least one kiln barn, enclosures and field boundaries in several complex groups. Such remains are difficult to assign precise dates to, but could date from between AD 1500 and the early 19th century. Klibreck was a substantial settlement, with at least ten families prior to the Clearances.

In a boggy area close to the burn are the footings of a rectangular structure, aligned E-W, measuring approximately 6.0m E-W by 5.0m N-S. It is suggested that these are the remains of a pre-Reformation chapel. Surrounding the footings are faint traces of an irregularly-shaped enclosure measuring some 19m E-W by 6m N-S at its W end and 12m N-S at its E end. Two standing stones, both of undressed schist, remain at the E end of the enclosure, flanking a possible entrance.

The northern of the stones is plain, but the southern bears a cross on its N face (facing across the possible entrance). The cross is long-shafted with its arms expanding towards the ends and the angles rounded at the armpits. The cross-incised stone measures approximately 1.16m high by 0.35m wide. The cross-slab supports the traditional identification of the remains as those of a chapel.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape, measuring a maximum of 735m E-W by a maximum of 335m N-S, as marked in red on the accompanying map. It includes the deserted settlement, the two standing stones and the chapel foundations. It excludes the above-ground elements of modern fences and gates.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the well-preserved remains of a post-medieval settlement, centred on a probable pre-Reformation chapel and burial enclosure, suggesting that this site may also have been the focus for medieval settlement.

Study of its remains has the potential to add to our knowledge of the social and ecclesiastical structure of the Highlands in medieval and early-modern times, of medieval ecclesiastical architecture and sculpture, and of domestic life and agricultural methods in medieval and early modern Scotland.

It also has the potential to add to our understanding of the Clearances in this area of Scotland. The apparent variety of building types suggests a long period of activity on the site, adding greatly to its importance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NC 53 SE 4 and 5.


RCAHMS (1911) Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland, Edinburgh, 86, No. 248.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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