Ancient Monuments

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Cullicudden, church and burial ground

A Scheduled Monument in Black Isle, Highland

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Latitude: 57.6552 / 57°39'18"N

Longitude: -4.2647 / 4°15'52"W

OS Eastings: 264960

OS Northings: 865070

OS Grid: NH649650

Mapcode National: GBR H8VH.777

Mapcode Global: WH3DC.GVD9

Entry Name: Cullicudden, church and burial ground

Scheduled Date: 5 December 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13346

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: tombstone; Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard

Location: Resolis

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Black Isle

Traditional County: Cromartyshire


The monument is the remains of a late medieval church and its graveyard, which contains a fine collection of carved grave-slabs, some dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The church is visible as the gable end of an upstanding masonry structure, located within a roughly square graveyard. The monument is located on the Black Isle to the S of the Cromarty Firth at 26m OD.

The upstanding ruin comprises the SE gable end of a structure formed mainly of pink-hued coursed sandstone and boulders, with a central doorway and window. The gable end stands up to 3.5m high and is about 5m wide. This fragment may have formed part of a burial aisle or part of the church. The date '1609' is inscribed on the lintel stone of the doorway, but the site overall is likely to be earlier as the burial ground contains carvings from the 14th century. External niches for plaques or other sculptures are set above and on either side of the central window. Parts of the SW and NE walls adjoining the gable stand to a maximum height of 1.3m. The NE wall has been re-faced and three modern gravestones are embedded into its external elevation. The SW wall has two gravestones set into its internal face and is built mainly of irregularly coursed boulders.

The burial ground is roughly square in plan, measuring 52m NW-SE by 49m transversely, and contains numerous grave-slabs and funerary monuments dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries. The earlier grave-slabs are largely buried below the turf, but their outlines can be traced. They appear mainly to cluster around the church on a slightly raised sub-oval area measuring 28m NE-SW by 14m NW-SE, which may be the core of the earliest burial ground. Along the NW side of the raised area is a stone and earth embankment.

The scheduled area is irregular in shape and includes the remains described above and an area around them in which evidence for the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes: the above-ground elements of all modern boundary walls; the top 300mm of all modern paths to allow for their maintenance; all burial lairs where rights of burial still exist; and any 20th-century burial monuments.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a late medieval church and burial ground, containing a fine collection of carved grave-slabs and funerary monuments dating from at least the 14th to the 19th century. It can significantly enhance our understanding and appreciation of Scotland's medieval and later church sites. It is of particular importance because of its long chronological range, with the carved stones demonstrating that the site was in use from at least the 14th century. The monument can add to our understanding of developments in memorial practice through periods of significant devotional change, including the Reformation, and concomitant developments in burial and memorial practices, stone carving styles and symbolism. The grave-slab bearing the pierced hand of Christ is a particularly rare survival. The monument would have formed a prominent part of the late medieval landscape and is now a picturesque ruin in the contemporary landscape. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our ability to understand the origin and development of medieval and later church sites, and the changing nature of burial ritual, memorial practice and sculptural funerary traditions over 500 years, in Ross and Cromarty and further afield.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Alston, D 1999, Ross and Cromarty; a historical guide, Edinburgh.

Cowan, I B 1967, 'The parishes of medieval Scotland', Scot Rec Soc, vol 93, Edinburgh.

RCAHMS, 1979, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of the Black Isle, Ross and Cromarty District, Highland Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series, 9, Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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