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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 817525

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NS37NW 2 34208 78639.

(NS 3420 7863) St Mahew's Chapel (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map (1923)

The remains of the Chapel at the Kirkton of Kilmahew stand in an ancient churchyard about 1 1/2 miles NW of Cardross railway station. A chapel existed there in 1370; in 1467 a new chapel was erected, and dedicated to St. Mahew. It is possible that the existing chancel is part of the structure then dedicated. In 1640, a portion of the chapel was turned into a school.

The building is now unoccupied, but it is kept in good repair. It consists of an eastern portion or choir, which is roofed and a western portion or nave, which is roofless. The former is ancient, but the latter appears relatively modern. The enclosure probably occupies the site of the original nave but the walls appear to have been rebuilt. There was a nave in existence in 1640.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1897

Saint Mahew's Chapel in 1948 became the property of the Archdiocese of Glasgow. The first structure was probably a cell of St Mochta of Louth, who died AD 535. The upper part of a standing stone upon which had been inscribed a cross, probably dating to the 6th century, and a 9th or 10th century tomb carved with a Celtic interlaced pattern, were discovered in 1955. The chapel was rebuilt in 1467 and it is the ruin of this building that has been restored in 1955.

D McRoberts 1955

NS 342 786 A small incised cross-slab and fragments of a shrine found on the site suggest that it was in use at a date much earlier than 1370, when the first documentary reference to the chapel occurs. The present building was erected in 1476 and heavily restored in 1955.

RCAHMS 1978, visited August 1977

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1897; D McRoberts 1955.

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