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Ardchattan Priory, priory, burial ground and carved stones

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

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Latitude: 56.4626 / 56°27'45"N

Longitude: -5.2943 / 5°17'39"W

OS Eastings: 197135

OS Northings: 734915

OS Grid: NM971349

Mapcode National: GBR FC9M.X9B

Mapcode Global: WH1HD.NT2L

Entry Name: Ardchattan Priory, priory, burial ground and carved stones

Scheduled Date: 22 February 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13644

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: cross slab; Ecclesiastical: priory

Location: Ardchattan and Muckairn

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban North and Lorn

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the remains of Ardchattan Priory and its associated buildings, burials and carved stones. This Valliscaulian priory was founded in 1230/1 and is located on the north shore of Loch Etive at 10m above sea level.

The visible elements of the priory include parts of the original 13th-century church: the south transept and its chapels, and elements remodelled during the 15th and early 16th centuries: the choir, burial aisles and a sacristy. The remains also include a significant collection of carved stones.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling extends up to but does not include the adjacent Ardchattan House. The scheduling excludes the surfaces of all tracks and paths and the above-ground elements of all modern enclosures, boundary features, services, signage and modern structures. The monument was first scheduled in 1923, but the documentation does not meet current standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved example of a Valliscaulian Priory dating from 1230/1.  It has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular the establishment, patronage and development of religious houses in Argyll and the West Highlands and the impact they had on contemporary life. The monument is also important for our understanding of how lordship was projected within a Gaelic context. The survival of standing fabric and buried remains of the priory and associated burial ground adds to its potential to contribute to the wider study of medieval ecclesiastical architecture within Scotland. The presence of a significant carved stone collection is important as it enhances our understanding of West Highland sculpture, funerary art and architecture, and memorial practices, as well as of medieval society and politics more generally. The loss of the monument would diminish our ability to understand the development and role of medieval monasticism in Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 23259.

The West of Scotland Archaeology Service SMR reference is WoSAS PIN 1424.

Cowan I B and Easson D E, 1976, Medieval religious houses in Scotland: with an appendix on the houses in the Isle of Man. London.

Fawcett R, 2002, Scottish medieval churches: architecture and furnishings. Stroud.

Fisher I, 2001, Early Medieval sculpture in the West Highlands and Islands, RCAHMS / Soc Ant Scot Monograph series 1. Edinburgh.

RCAHMS, 1975, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Argyll: an inventory of the ancient monuments: volume 2: Lorn, no 217, 99-115. Edinburgh.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Ardchattan Priory
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Related Designations

Designation TypeGarden & Designed LandscapeStatusDesignated


HER/SMR Reference

WoSAS PIN 1424

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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