Ancient Monuments

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Keills Cross, cross and church 200m ENE of Keillmore

A Scheduled Monument in Mid Argyll, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 55.9621 / 55°57'43"N

Longitude: -5.7003 / 5°42'1"W

OS Eastings: 169144

OS Northings: 680530

OS Grid: NR691805

Mapcode National: GBR DD9Y.PRZ

Mapcode Global: WH0JL.DDSP

Entry Name: Keills Cross, cross and church 200m ENE of Keillmore

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1981

Last Amended: 15 March 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90176

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: tombstone; Ecclesiastical: church; Secular: settlement, including deserte

Location: North Knapdale

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll

Traditional County: Argyllshire


This monument consists of an Early-Christian cross, the church of St. Cormac, a large number of grave stones and the traces of a substantial settlement around them.

The church dates from the late 12th century and was re-roofed in 1978 to house the carved stones of the site. The most important of these is the Early-Christian cross which stood to the NW of the church. The cross stands over 2m tall and is densely carved on both faces. It now stands at the E end of the church.

The church also houses approximately three dozen carved stones dating from the Early-Christian period to the 17th Century. The church is a simple rectangle with a door in the W end of the N wall, three small windows in the chancel, one in each of the N, E and S walls and a third window in the south wall opposite the door.

Beyond the graveyard of the church there was a substantial settlement, the building terraces of which are still visible. To the SW of the chapel site is a drystone enclosure for vegetable cultivation.

The area to be scheduled includes all the above elements. It is defined to the SE by the edge of the road to Keills Port, to the SW by a line running ESE-WNW 10m out from the drystone cultivation enclosure, to the NW by a line running SSW-NNE 20m out from the wall of the burial ground and to the NE by a line defined by the drystone dyke approximately 40m NE of the burial ground.

The area measures approximately 170m from its northernmost to its southernmost points, by 150m from its easternmost to its westernmost points, and is marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because it is a site with history of ecclesiastical occupation dating back to at least the late 8th Century. The range and quality of carving on the site indicates that it was a church of some importance in the area, probably because of its association with the pilgrimage site of Eilean Mor. Unusually this site has clear evidence of associated settlement around it. The archaeology of the site has the potential to greatly expand our knowledge of the middle ages in Argyll, in particular non-defensive settlement and the relationship between secular and ecclesiastical life.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NR 68 SE 2.


RCAHMS, 1992, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: An inventory of the monuments: Volume 7: Mid-Argyll and Cowal: Medieval and later monuments, Edinburgh, 83-93, No. 45.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Keills Chapel & Cross
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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