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Lephin, Mull

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Township (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Lephin, Mull

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Township (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Port Chill Bhraonain

Canmore ID 22085

Site Number NM45NW 9

NGR NM 4457 5716

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilninian And Kilmore
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM45NW 9 4457 5716.

(NM 4457 5716) Burial Ground (NAT)

OS 1:10000 map (1976)

The name Port Chill Bhraonain (at NM 446 578) probably comes from Kilbrenan, indicating a chapel dedicated to St Brendan in the vicinity.

T Hannan 1926

There is no local knowledge of any religious site in the area other than that of the burial ground at Lephin (NM 4457 5718) which consists of the fragmentary remains of an earth-and-stone bank enclosing a slightly raised area measuring 28m from E to W by 21m transversely. Within this enclosure are the turf-covered foundations of two buildings. The larger of these measures 8.5m from E to W. by 4.6m transversely within walls some 0.9m in thickness. The entrance is in the N. This building possibly represents a chapel. The other building, which has rounded angles, is situated some 2.0 m to the W and at right angles to the former.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (DWR) 15 May 1972

'Burial-ground', Lephin (Site): The remains here are as described above. Although identified on OS 6" 1875 as a burial-ground (there is no authority for this name in the relevant ONB), the remains appear to be those of a dwelling-house and outbuilding with their associated cultivation-patch.

RCAHMS 1980, visited 1972


Excavation (17 September 2018 - 23 September 2018)

NM 44579 57172 During the preparatory works for the

community excavation at Baliscate a number of similar sites

were surveyed. The excavation at Baliscate located a 13/14thcentury

enclosure structure(s) with an 8th-century cemetery

beneath it. The finds and deposits within the structure were

typical of domestic occupation.

The main aim of the community-led excavation at Lephin,

17 – 23 September 2018, was to see if the site was of a

similar date to Baliscate and whether there was evidence of

contemporary burials. The structure at Lephin was built from

stone, with the roof appearing to have been supported by

internal earthfast posts. There was a considerable build-up

of midden-like material on the floor, from which decorated

pottery, very similar to that from Baliscate, and which has

been dated to the 13th century, was found. The enclosure

was also built of stone and had been deliberately levelled.

A possible stone-lined grave cut was discovered within the

enclosure, although there was no bone within it. A probably

in situ deposit of ash and charcoal was discovered on the

outside of the enclosure wall and it was demonstrated that

this deposit ran under the enclosure wall; it was from this

early deposit that fragments of a decorated composite bone

comb were recovered.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Heritage Lottery Fund

Clare Ellis – Argyll Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 19)


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