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Tain, Chapel Road, St Duthus's Chapel

Chapel (Medieval)

Site Name Tain, Chapel Road, St Duthus's Chapel

Classification Chapel (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) The Links

Canmore ID 14680

Site Number NH78SE 1

NGR NH 78553 82219

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NH78SE 1 78553 82219.

(NH 7855 8222) St. Duthas's Chapel (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)

The most ancient of the three pre-reformation churches in Tain, dedicated to St. Duthus, this is thought to be the church to which his remains were translated in 1253. He is thought to have lived about 1000. The architecture of the building agrees with the 13th century date. This church possessed the right of sanctuary, the sacred nature of which did not avail the wife and daughter of Robert the Bruce, who sought refuge here in the 14th century.

The church stands on a knoll rising above the general level of the links, and is surrounded by a modern cemetery. A simple parallelogram, the church measures 46 feet long by 16' 6" wide internally. Three of the walls which are all of granite boulders, and the east and west gables are still almost entire, but the south wall is reduced to a state of ruin. The north, east and west walls, which are much exposed to the storms from the sea, are without any openings, except a small pointed window in the west gable. The doorway and windows seem to have been in the south wall, which may account for its ruinous condition.

The church is believed to have been destroyed by fire by McNeill of Creich in 1429.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896-7.

The girth of Tain, marked out by four crosses appears to have been roughly co-extensive with the bounds of the parish. 'Clais na Comraich' - the Hollow of the Girth or Sanctuary - at "The Canary" on the southern boundary of the parish towards Scotsburn, may have been the site of one cross. 'Crais Caitrion', Catherine's Cross, to the north of Loch Eye, may have been another.

W J Watson 1904.

As described above.

Visited by OS (W D J) 18 May 1963.


Field Visit (September 1977)

Tain, Chapel NH 785 822 NH78SE 1

This chapel, dedicated to St Duthus, was probably built not earlier than the 14th century. It was destroyed by fire in 1429 and the ruins stand in the modern churchyard.

RCAHMS 1979, visited September 1977

(MacGibbon and Ross 1896-7, ii, 537-8; Macdonald and Laing 1970, 137-8)


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