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Taynuilt, Old Parish Church of Muckairn, tombstones and burial ground.

A Scheduled Monument in Oban North and Lorn, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.4288 / 56°25'43"N

Longitude: -5.2368 / 5°14'12"W

OS Eastings: 200504

OS Northings: 730984

OS Grid: NN005309

Mapcode National: GBR FCGQ.L15

Mapcode Global: WH1HM.JPJ0

Entry Name: Taynuilt, Old Parish Church of Muckairn, tombstones and burial ground.

Scheduled Date: 1 December 1975

Last Amended: 14 January 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3762

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: tombstone; Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Ardchattan and Muckairn

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban North and Lorn

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the remains of Muckairn (also known as Kilespickeral) Old Parish Church and burial ground. The remains of the church and the burial ground were scheduled separately in 1975. The current rescheduling will combine both the church and the burial ground under one scheduling.

A church at Kilespickeral was first recorded in a mid-14th century charter. A document, believed to have been compiled in the late 17th century and quoted in the New Statistical Account, states that the old parish church was constructed 'shortly before the reformation' although it was situated within an old burial ground. This same source states that Kilespickeral was an outlying mensal church of the bishopric of Dunkeld.

The old parish church of Muckairn is situated immediately south of the present parish church which was built in 1829. The remains are fragmentary; parts of the north and south walls survive, together with a substantial portion of the E gable-wall, but the entire western portion has disappeared, therefore the original length cannot be determined.

The building is aligned E-W and measures 5.6m in width within walls about 1m in thickness. The upper part of the E gable is intaken externally by a splayed sacrament. The inner face of the S wall has a segmental-arched recess which may have housed a tomb-chest and suggests that the church was constructed in the late medieval period. To the east of the recess was a window, and to the west of it, a high-level doorway, both of which are probably associated with a post-Reformation reconstruction of the building.

Within the burial ground there are two west highland grave slabs, both heavily worn and dating from around 1500-1560. One stone is ornamented by a claymore flanked with plant scrolls and animals disposed around the hilt, all contained within a wide border elaborated with dog-tooth ornament. The second graveslab is simply decorated with a pair of plant scrolls. A third west highland grave slab, bearing an incised sword and Lochaber axe, has been recorded within the burial ground, but could not be located when visited. The burial ground also contains a number of post-Reformation gravestones, most notably a set of 18th century Campbell table-tombs with heraldic devices and symbols of mortality.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains of Muckairn Old Parish Church and the burial ground which surrounds it. The scheduled area is defined by the boundary wall of the kirkyard to S, W and E; the burial ground was extended to the N in the 20th century. The area has maximum dimensions of 80m N-S and 70m transversely as marked in red on the attached map. All modern burial lairs still in use are excluded from the scheduling, as is the boundary wall and the present parish church.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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