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Dornoch, 'monastic Settlement'

Monastery (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Site Name Dornoch, 'monastic Settlement'

Classification Monastery (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) St Finbarr's Monastery

Canmore ID 14619

Site Number NH78NE 14

NGR NH 799 896

NGR Description NH c. 799 896

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Dornoch
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NH78NE 14 c. 799 896

(Area: NH 799 896) Findbarr of Cork (died 610) is said to have founded a monastic establishment at Dornoch, where the former parish church (NH78NE 18) was dedicated to him.

Between 1127 and 1153 David I ordered Reinvald, Earl of Orkney and others to respect 'the monks who live at Dornoch'. (Reg. de Dunfermelyn 1842) Since no other record of a monastery at this date is known Easson (1957) suggests this could apply to a surviving Celtic establishment and Cowan agrees that this may have been the site of a 'monasterium' or minister and further suggests that this could have been an influencing factor in the development of the see at Dornoch.

Scott (1915) maintains that the remains of buildings found during excavations for the Public School (NH 7991 8968) probably in the mid 19th century were those of St. Finbarr's monastery. These foundations were of two types - square and mortared, and rounded and unmortared 'of the usual early Celtic type'.

A B Scott 1915; C D Bentinck 1926; W J Watson 1926; Information from 'Map of Dornoch' by J F Wyness 1926; D E Easson 1957; I B Cowan 1964.

No further information.

Visited by OS (A A), 31 March 1971.


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