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Clachan Churchyard, Cross, Cross Slabs & Tombstones

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

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Latitude: 55.7461 / 55°44'45"N

Longitude: -5.5637 / 5°33'49"W

OS Eastings: 176426

OS Northings: 656056

OS Grid: NR764560

Mapcode National: GBR DFNJ.D8X

Mapcode Global: WH0KM.HTTT

Entry Name: Clachan Churchyard, Cross, Cross Slabs & Tombstones

Scheduled Date: 21 July 1975

Last Amended: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3676

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross slab

Location: Kilcalmonell

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Kintyre and the Islands

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument consists of carved stones situated in Clachan churchyard. Seven stones and several fragments are standing within a stone shelter situated against the north wall of the graveyard. Other carved stones are situated throughout the graveyard. The monument is being rescheduled in order to define more clearly the extent of the scheduling.

The present parish church at Clachan was erected in c.1760 and probably replaces an earlier building on the same site. The church appears to have been dedicated to St Colmaneala or Columbanus, a contemporary of St Columba. All the stones apparently derive from the churchyard, although none are in their original positions.

Within the stone shelter there are seven carved stones. Going from west to east there are:

1. A West Highland grave slab, dated to the 14th-15th century, fractured in the middle, with the top right and bottom left corners missing. It is decorated with a sword with a lobated pommel and inclined quillions.

2. A West Highland grave slab, dated to the 14th-early 16th century, fractured in the middle. It is decorated with a narrow panel filled with a leaf-scroll; the individual leaves with their stalks forming circles which fill the entire width of the panel.

3. A West Highland grave slab dated to the 14th-15th century, decorated with a sword with straight quillions and bulbous terminals.

4. A West Highland grave slab of the Kintyre School, dated to the 15th century. This is the best preserved of the carved stones within the graveyard. Within a double plain moulding there is a sword with lobated pommel and inclined quillons. On the right of the sword is foliage springing from two intertwined stems and terminating in twin beasts, and on the left a plain slip for an inscription. Below the slip there are a pair shears and two plain tablets. A secondary inscription has been cut into the stone in the late 17th or 18th century: it reads HERE L[YES] ARCHIBALD [?BROTHER] / TO RONALD MCALISTER OF DUN SKEIG.

5. A West Highland grave slab of the Iona School, dated to the 14th-early 16th century. The slab has a bevelled edge with nail-head moulding. It is decorated with a single row of foliage ornament. Cut around three sides of the margin of the stone there is a secondary inscription reading: THIS IS THE BURIEL PLACE OF RONALD MCALISTER OF DUN AND MARY MCNILL AND THEIR CHILDREN 1707.

6. A West Highland grave slab of the Kintyre School, dated to the 15th century. The stone has been covered with elaborate decoration but is now extremely worn.

7. An early Christian cross slab bearing a Latin cross and a ring cross, badly worn.

Within the churchyard there are other early Christian and Medieval carved stones:

1. In the NE corner of the graveyard, there is a recumbent early Christian cross slab below the gravestone of John Taylor, late tenant at Dalchairy. The cross is a hammerhead cross, with open arms and stem.

2. In the SW of the graveyard is an undecorated cruciform stone that serves as a headstone. This stone may be early Christian in date.

3. In the SW of the graveyard, below a head stone to Helen MacCallum, there is a recumbent West Highland grave slab with a plain border. Within the border is a crudely incised sword with lobated pommel and inclined quillions with bulbous terminals.

4. In the NE of the graveyard, there is a slab decorated with a crudely incised sword, now almost covered with turf.

Among the post-medieval churchyard monuments, one is of note. It bears a representation of a four-horse plough-team and commemorates Donald McGill, tenant in Cairnmore, who died in 1757.

The area to be scheduled measures 40m W-E by 35m N-S, as defined in red on the enclosed map. The scheduling excludes the modern structure of the stone shelter, the church and all modern burial lairs still in use.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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