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Dornoch, Schoolhill, St Finnbarr's Episcopal Church

Church (13th Century)

Site Name Dornoch, Schoolhill, St Finnbarr's Episcopal Church

Classification Church (13th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Parish Church Of St Barr; Parish Church Of Finbarr; Templebar

Canmore ID 14623

Site Number NH78NE 18

NGR NH 7992 8975

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 18 7976 8969

See also NH78NE 26.

(NH 7976 8969) The parish church of St Barr or Finbarr mentioned in 1223 stood in the eastern part of the present Cathedral yard, the site being commemorated in the name Templebar.

It is not known if the church survived as the parish church after the building of the Cathedral in the early 13th century, but the fact that the building was not removed until the early 17th century suggests that it may have done. About this time the Cathedral was partially restored to serve as the parish church. The graveyard was known until at least the 16th century as St. Finbarr's.

About 1926 foundations were uncovered during grave-digging, but these may have belonged to the Tolbooth (NH78NE 26) which stood on or very near the site from 1730 - 1818.

Orig Paroch Scot 1855; C D Bentinck 1926.

No trace. The foundations observed about 1926 are locally believed to have been those of the church, at approx. the grid reference given.

Visited by OS (A A) 31 March 1971.

Architecture Notes

ARCHITECT: Alexander Ross 1912.

(Undated) information in NMRS.


Publication Account (1982)

The parish church dedicated to St. Bar stood to the east of the present Cathedral and apparently served the town from at least 1223 until the early seventeenth century. About this time, the cathedral, which had been badly damaged by a gale in 1605 and fire in 1570, was partially restored to serve as the parish church. About 1926 foundations at NH 7976 8969 were uncovered by a gravedigger which may have belonged to the tolbooth which stood near the site between 1730-1813, but are locally believed to have been those of the church (Ordnance Survey Record Cards, Reference NH 78 NE 18).

Information from ‘Historic Dornoch: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1982).


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