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Inverewe Church

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Font (Period Unassigned), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Site Name Inverewe Church

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Font (Period Unassigned), Pictish Symbol Stone (Pictish)

Alternative Name(s) Londubh

Canmore ID 11977

Site Number NG88SE 10

NGR NG 8603 8096

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/11977

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Gairloch
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

EARLY MEDIEVAL CARVED STONES PROJECT

Poolewe, Ross and Cromarty, Pictish symbol stone

Measurements: H 1.45m, W 0.45m, D 0.11m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NG 8603 8096

Present location:

Evidence for discovery: found in 1992 in the circular burial-ground at Poolewe, which is likely to be early in date.

Present condition: very worn, with edge damage.

Description

This slender slab is incised on one broad face with a crescent and V-rod symbol, embellished with internal sunken dots, including groups of three in the tips of the crescent. The symbol spans the width of the slab, and it is so close to the top as it survives that there may well have been an upper symbol now broken away.

Date: seventh century.

References: Fraser 2008, no 125.

Desk-based information compiled by A Ritchie 2017.

Archaeology Notes

NG88SE 10 8603 8096.

(Centred NG 86038096) Burial Ground (NAT)

OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1906)

The church or chapel of Inverewe stood in what is still called the Inverewe churchyard, perhaps more generally known as the Londubh burial-ground.

The church seems to have been forty feet long and eighteen feet wide and was not oriented. The original wall forming the north-east side of the church is still standing. About 1689 the church was partly pulled down, and the two present roofless apartments or chapels were constructed out of its remains for family burial-places. The church does not possess any architectural features. There is a Jacobean moulding round the door of one of the burial-places, in one of which is a loose stone inscribed 'K M K 1678'. The same date may have been inscribed on the lintel of the principal burial-place. The stone basin of the font lies loose in the burial-ground near; a stone now placed over a grave is moulded along one edge, and may possibly have formed part of the altar.

The church was purchased by the Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie in the seventeenth century. It seems likely he built this little church; some say he only restored an older church; in either case this may have been the site of a pre-Reformation church, and even of a monastic institution, for there are many traces of buildings in the neighbourhood.

It is stated that the 'old chapel of Inverewe seems to belong to the seventeenth century, judging from the appearance of the ruins'.

J H Dixon 1886.

The remains of the church, measuring 12.4 m long, 5.1 m wide,x 1.7 m high, with stone walls 0.9 m thick, are as described above. The moulded jambs of the entrance are in the SE. Further family burial chambers have been built against the NE wall. No trace of the font or portion of the altar remains, and the stone marked "K M K 1678" now stands upright in the burial ground about 8.0 m SW of the church. The burial ground is still in use.

Visited by OS (N K B) 12 March 1965.

In 1992 a Pictish symbol stone was identified on a recumbent slab in the old churchyard of Inverewe. It bears a weathered crescent and V-rod symbol at one end, decorated with a curvilinear design and arrangements of dots.

Information received from J Small, Historic Scotland, 1 July 1993.

Class I symbol stone bearing a crescent and V-rod.

A.Mack 1997 p.118

This burial-ground, alternatively known as the Inverewe or Londubh burial-ground, is situated 80m from the head of Loch Ewe. The enclosure is roughly circular, measuring about 70m from N to S within a substantial stone wall of 19th-century character. It contains the ruins of a church, said to have been rebuilt in the 17th century but much altered to form private burial-enclosures (1). A slab bearing the crescent-and-V-rod symbol was identified lying W of the church in 1992 (2).

The symbol-stone is a roughly rectangular slab of Torridonian sandstone, probably incomplete at the top, which measures 1.45m by 0.45m and at least 110mm thick. It displays prominent vertical striations, and the symbol at the top is much worn and lichen-stained. The crescent preserves two spirals which interlock at the centre to form a pelta. In each of its outer segments there is a triangular group of three small hollows, and a series of similar hollows is set inside the outer arc of its main section. Another hollow is placed in the angle of the V-rod and there are traces of the lower spirals of its right terminal, but the left one is obliterated.

Footnotes:

(1) J H Dixon 1886, 65, 71, 99-100; A G and M H Beattie 1987, 26-7.

(2) The Commissioners are indebted to Dr R Hingley, Historic Scotland, for bringing this stone to their attention.

A Mack 1997, 118; E Peterson 1996, 131-2.

I Fisher 2001, 91.

NG 8603 8096 A watching brief was carried out in June 2006 to identify and record the nature and extent of any archaeological features revealed or affected by trench digging for the installation of the new drainage system at Londubh Burial Ground, Poolewe. It was requested because this is an ancient graveyard of circular form, containing a Pictish symbol stone. There was therefore a possibility that further buried archaeology could lie in the area. The burial ground is aptly named Londubh, Scottish Gaelic for 'black pool', as the site is boggy and often floods. The empty, SE part, on the left just after entry, is used for modern burials. It is reported to be particularly wet, and the new drainage system would require the excavation of trenches through this area. In the event, no archaeologically significant discoveries were made.

Report lodged with Highland SMR and Library Service, and NMRS; archive will be deposited with RCAHMS.

Sponsor: Highland Council.

John Wood, 2006.

Activities

Watching Brief (June 2006)

NG 8603 8096 A watching brief was carried out in June 2006 to identify and record the nature and extent of any archaeological features revealed or affected by trench digging for the installation of the new drainage system at Londubh Burial Ground, Poolewe. It was requested because this is an ancient graveyard of circular form, containing a Pictish symbol stone. There was therefore a possibility that further buried archaeology could lie in the area. The burial ground is aptly named Londubh, Scottish Gaelic for 'black pool', as the site is boggy and often floods. The empty, SE part, on the left just after entry, is used for modern burials. It is reported to be particularly wet, and the new drainage system would require the excavation of trenches through this area. In the event, no archaeologically significant discoveries were made.

Report lodged with Highland SMR and Library Service, and NMRS; archive will be deposited with RCAHMS.

Sponsor: Highland Council.

J Wood 2006

References

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