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All our staffed properties, sites and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, are currently closed, but we’re working on plans to gradually reopen. In the meantime, you can access our services online. Find out more.

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Archaeology InSites

Age of Stone
Age of Bronze
Age of Iron
Age of Invasion
Age of Warriors
Age of Worship
Age of Kings
Age of Clans
Age of Industry
Age of Leisure
Age of War
This Age

Age of Worship

The age of Worship explores Christian architecture and Viking practices: from long cist cemeteries to boat burials, we explore rural island monastic settlements through to a 12th century Parish church still in use to this day.

North Rona village and chapel - Western Isles

Sometime around 1680, the tacksman of St Kilda, his wife and a ‘good crew’ set sail back to the Outer Hebrides, carrying with them much of the St Kildan’s rent for that year as produce. A great storm blew up and the small boat was forced to turn before the wind. Past Harris and Lewis she flew, sea foaming along the gunnels, men straining sinew to hold her course before the ever strengthening waves. At last they were cast ashore on the island of Rona, an outpost even more distant than St Kilda itself, 130 miles to the northwest, and 45 miles from the nearest shore. True to the poetry of Gaelic, the island’s local name, Ronaidh an t’haf, means Rona of the Ocean.

Cenn Garah (Kingarth) or St Blane’s - Isle of Bute

The monastic site of Cenn Garah, which translates into Kingarth, is now known as St Blane’s. It lies at the southern tip of the Isle of Bute, in a remarkably peaceful location. The founders of the 6th century AD monastery were looking to establish a place of quiet study and contemplation. When you visit St Blane’s you can certainly understand why they chose this location. The founders were obviously aware of the local landscape and how best to use it to their advantage. By studying the layout of the monastic remains we can begin to understand aspects of how the site began its life and has been adapted over the past 1,400 years.