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Recording Your Heritage Online

Date 2008

Event ID 567148

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Recording Your Heritage Online


Kildonnan Church, 16th century A typical post-Reformation rubble oblong (east gable collapsed), occupying the site of St. Donnan's 7th century monastery [see NM48SE 24]. It is believed to have been built by John of Moidart (Eoin Muirdeartach), who died in 1584 and to whom is also attributed Kilmory Church at Arisaig. Some say, however, that it was his son Allan (9th Clanranald chief, d.1593) who was responsible for carrying out his father's vow to build a church here, that it was never roofed or consecrated and used only as a burial ground. Certainly the Franciscan missionary, Fr. Ward, found it a roofless ruin in 1625. A 16th-century tomb recess guarded by nettles on the inside north is said to contain the body of the celebrated piper Raghnall Mac Ailein Oig, who died in Eigg in 1641 . It bears a Clanranald armorial shield of the type found at Kilmory, Arisaig and Howmore, South Uist, inscribed 1641 with initials 'DmR'. The graveyard has yielded some important finds: a cross shaft, late 14th century, ornately carved with Iona craftsmanship of highest quality; Kildonnan Cross, 8th century, a pinkish slab with Pictish hunting scene carved on one side, incised Christian cross and key pattern on the reverse. Found in the early 20th century, this now stands with other rare Early Christian crosses in the Lodge porch.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

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