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Publication Account

Date 1985

Event ID 1018831

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1018831

Although now roofless, the chapel on Inchkenneth offers the visitor a good impression of the scale of the parish church of the mid-13th century; the dedication to St Cainnech of Aghaboe, a contemporary ofSt Columba, however, implies an earlier foundation of which there is now no trace. The chancel and nave form a single unit, with the floor of the chancel set a little lower than that of the nave. There was little embellishment either round the doorway on the north side or the windows, one each on the north and south wall of the chancel, and a pair of lancet windows on the east. Twin-light east windows are a characteristic feature of the comparatively simple churches of this period in the west. Dr Johnson, who visited Inchkenneth in 1772, noted 'On one side of the altar is a bas relief of the blessed Virgin, and by it lies a little bell; which, though cracked, and without a dapper, has remained there for ages, guarded only by the venerableness of the place. The ground round the chapel is covered with grave-stones of Chiefs and ladies ...'

The graveslabs form an important collection and several are now protected within the chapel; two are illustrated here: one with a sword above a galley without a sail, with plant-scroll decoration on either side of the sword; the second has heavier more formalised plant decoration with paired animal ornament near the head and a hound and stag at the foot. The second stone is a good example of the Iona School of carving of about the 14th to 15th century AD.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles’, (1985).

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