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Ardtaraig, chapel and enclosure 155m west of

A Scheduled Monument in Cowal, Argyll and Bute

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9975 / 55°59'51"N

Longitude: -5.1179 / 5°7'4"W

OS Eastings: 205661

OS Northings: 682673

OS Grid: NS056826

Mapcode National: GBR FDRV.SLH

Mapcode Global: WH1KT.CJ52

Entry Name: Ardtaraig, chapel and enclosure 155m W of

Scheduled Date: 5 December 1973

Last Amended: 19 September 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3333

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Inverchaolain

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Cowal

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument is the remains of a chapel within a sub-rectangular enclosure. The chapel is visible as a rectangular stone-walled structure and the enclosure is defined by a low earth and stone grass-covered bank. A cross-incised stone is located at the entrance to the enclosure through the southwest bank. The monument is likely to date to the Early Christian period (around 550 to 900 AD) and is located on a level terrace at about 10m above sea level on the eastern bank of Loch Striven.

The chapel is rectangular on plan measuring approximately 9m northeast by southwest by 5m transversely with rubble walls standing to an overall height of 0.6m with the entrance in the northeast wall.  Internally, a large stone slab partially buried under the turf is visible at the northeast end and there is a cross-wall about 1m from the southwest wall.  The chapel is surrounded by a sub-rectangular enclosure measuring approximately 18m northeast by southwest by 16m transversely within earth and stone bank standing to an overall height of about 0.5m.  The enclosure has been reduced to a scarp on the north side.  The entrance to the enclosure is in the southwest wall and incorporates an Early Christian cross-incised stone.  The cross-slab is roughly rectangular, 0.95m by 0.58m, and on the north face is the pecked and grooved outline of a Latin cross.

The scheduled area is sub-rectangular on plan and includes the area described above and area around it 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 excludes the element of the modern fence.  The monument was last scheduled in 1974 but the documentation did not meet current standards; the present scheduling rectifies this.

 

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because of its inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of Early Christian ecclesiastical sites in Scotland.  The chapel, cross-incised stone and the surrounding enclosure are reasonably well preserved and can be expected to provide information for the origins, organisation and spread of Christianity in western Scotland during this period.  There is potential to examine in detail the chapel, its date and development sequence and its relationship with the enclosure in which it is located.  The cross-slab has the potential to make a significant contribution to our understanding of early Christian art and help refine our understanding of the dating sequence and use of this site.  We can expect relatively complex archaeology will survive, perhaps including evidence for an earlier chapel and burials and potential later alterations.  The monument's significance is enhanced by the capacity to compare it with other ecclesiastical sites in Argyll.  The loss of this monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand Early Christian churches in Argyll and the role they had in the spread and organisation of Christianity in western Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Historic Environment Scotland http://www.canmore.org.uk reference number CANMORE ID 40517 (accessed on 20/05/2016).

The West of Scotland Archaeology Service Historic Environment Record Reference is 5095 (accessed on 20/05/2016).

Paterson, M 1970 Cowal Before History. Cowal Archaeological Society

RCAHMS (1992a) The Royal Commision on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland. Argyll. An Inventory of the monuments: Volume 7: Mid-Argyll and Cowal: Medieval and later monuments. Pages 49-50

Canmore

https://canmore.org.uk/site/40517/


HER/SMR Reference

http://www.wosas.net/search.php

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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