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Field Visit

Date 24 March 1926

Event ID 1105076

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


St Maol-luag's Chapel, Raasay.

The ruins of this chapel are situated at an elevation of 100 feet above sea-level in a small burial ground about 100 yards north-east of Raasay House. Both gables and the larger portion of the south wall remain to their original height, but the north wall is now considerably broken down. The ruin has a number of interesting features, details of which are to some extent obscured by obvious changes of ground level, both in the internal and external surroundings. The chapel is roofless and has been orientated north-west and south-east, and it measures externally 52 feet long, 24½ feet wide at the north-west gable and 21 feet wide at the south-east gable. The walls are 3 feet thick, and there is evidence, especially on the south wall, of structural alterations at different periods. The original door, 2 feet 8 inches wide, with chamfered jambs and lintel, was placed 16½ feet from the west ·end of the south wall, but owing to the configuration of the ground it now shows only to a height of 3 feet 4 inches, and it appears to have been built up and substituted by another doorway, traces of which can still be detected_in the dilapidated wall on the north. Immediately above the original doorway an entrance to a gallery, probably reached by an outside wooden stair, has been inserted, but this entrance has also been subsequently built up and the interior of the chapel afterwards roughly plastered. On the same wall, but towards the east end, there are a round-headed window, splayed internally, and indications of a second window of like construction in a dilapidated portion adjoining the eastern gable. A similar window 3 feet 5 inches in height and 10½ inches wide occurs on the south-east gable, and this window is chamfered on the outside and splayed internally. There has apparently been another window in the east end of the north wall, but little remains to give any idea of its character. The western gable has been lit by three apertures, one of which is not now apparent externally. The two others are of lancet form, with the heads cut out of one stone. These lancet windows are chamfered on the outside and all three are splayed internally. The western gable is intaken 10 inches to 1 foot at 10½ feet above the present interior level, and remaining joist holes indicate that there was a gallery at this end. Similar joist holes in the north and south walls at 9 feet from the east gable possibly indicate provision for a screen. Midway in the interior between the two south wall windows the upper portion of a tomb recess shows to a height of 2 feet above the existing internal level.

CROSS-SLAB IN BURIAL GROUND. Lying loose at the foot of a grave in the burial ground is a small cross-slab of red sandstone measuring 15½ by 6¼ by 1¼ inches. It bears on the rounded and somewhat mutilated upper portion the design, in low relief, of a cross-head with semicircular hollow angles and arms of equal length connected at their extremities by a ring or glory.

See Hist. Note, No. 616.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 24 March 1926.

OS map: Skye xxxv.

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