Loch Leven, St Serf's Island, St Serf's Priory Church


Site Name Loch Leven, St Serf's Island, St Serf's Priory Church

Classification Priory

Alternative Name(s) Culdee Monastery

Canmore ID 27872

Site Number NO10SE 3

NGR NO 16156 00260

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Portmoak (perth And Kinross)
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Kinross-shire

Archaeology Notes

NO10SE 3 16156 00260

(NO 1615 0025) Priory (NR) (Ruins)

OS 6" map (1920)

St Serf's Priory was originally a Culdee establishment, supposedly founded before AD 843. About AD 1150 King David granted the island to the Augustinian Canons and the Culdees were absorbed or expelled. In 1580 the priory was given to St Leonard's College, St Andrews.

The remains represent the oblong chamber of a 12th century church, measuring 27 by 19 1/4 feet over walls 2 1/2 feet thick. There are traces of an archway in each end wall, the one to the east giving access to a chancel, proved by excavation to have been rectangular, and the one to the west to a tower or nave. The building has been converted into a fishing hut or bothy.

About 25 yards westward of the church are the foundations of a large rectangular structure, measuring 83 feet 2 inches by 22 feet 8 inches within walls over 5 feet thick. Excavation revealed burials to the south and west of the chapel and within the chancel.

Upon the northern side of the island there is an excavation about 100 yards long and 10 feet deep containing ruins and the stones of a small house. This may have been the site of the separate cells of the Culdee community.

A Kerr 1882; RCAHMS 1933; W D Simpson 1935; D E Easson 1957.

Under guardianship in 1961.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

There are traces of other features visible on aerial photographs (RCAHMSAP 1991) lying approx. 80m to the S of the priory. These appear to be later than the cultivation marks.

Information from RCAHMS (RHM) 29 March 1994.



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