Ancient Monuments

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Lochcarron Old Parish Church, 160m SSW of Lochcarron Parish Church

A Scheduled Monument in Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh, Highland

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Latitude: 57.4134 / 57°24'48"N

Longitude: -5.4749 / 5°28'29"W

OS Eastings: 191401

OS Northings: 841225

OS Grid: NG914412

Mapcode National: GBR D9V4.50H

Mapcode Global: WH09J.WX3P

Entry Name: Lochcarron Old Parish Church, 160m SSW of Lochcarron Parish Church

Scheduled Date: 10 May 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8867

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Lochcarron

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh

Traditional County: Ross-shire


The monument comprises the remains of Lochcarron Old Parish Church and burial ground, known as the 'Great Church of Lochcarron'. The church was built in 1751 and abandoned about 1845, after the present parish church was built in 1834-6, 200m to the NE.

The remains of the church consist of the SE wall and the gables, the NW wall having been entirely removed. The church was aligned NE-SW. The structure is rubble-built and very plain, with large rectangular windows. The openings of the SE wall are arranged in a symmetrical six-bay pattern of doors and windows. The original openings have a simple chamfered detail.

The present remains are believed to occupy the site of the medieval church of St Maolrubha's. St Maolrubha's church was a common kirk of the Canons of Ross, one of a number of churches in Argyll granted to Ross in the 13th century. In the late 16th century, Timothy Pont describes the site as 'Clachan Mulruy, with a kirk and a toun'. The 'toun' Pont refers to, can be identified as Kirkton, 300m SE of the monument. The parish was erected by the Court of Teinds in 1726. Prior to 1724, it was part of the Presbytery of Gairloch - the name was changed to that of Lochcarron in 1775.

The area to be scheduled includes the church and burial ground. The area is irregular in shape and is defined by the boundary wall of the burial ground. The area has maximum dimensions of 50m NNE-SSW and 45m NW-SE as marked in red on the attached map. All modern burial lairs still in use are excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an example of an early modern church which occupies the site of a much earlier foundation. The archaeology of the site has the potential to contribute greatly to an understanding of medieval and early modern ecclesiastical architecture, religious practices and material culture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NG94SW 2

Gifford, J. (1996) The Building of Scotland: Highlands and Islands, Penguin Books.

Hay, G. (1957) The architecture of Scottish post-Reformation churches, 1560-1843.

Innes, Cosmo (1850-5) Origines Parochiales Scotiae (Bannatyne Club).

Macfarlane, W. (1726) Geographical collections relating to Scotland made by Walter Macfarlane; edited from Macfarlane's transcript in the Advocates' Library by Sir Arthur Mitchell (1906-1908). Edinburgh: Printed by T. and A. Constable for the Scottish History Society.

Scott, H. (1915-1918) Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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