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Ardnamurchan, Ardslignish, Burial-ground

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Ardnamurchan, Ardslignish, Burial-ground

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) St Ciaran Mac Ant-saeir

Canmore ID 22354

Site Number NM56SE 6

NGR NM 563 610

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Ardnamurchan
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Argyll

Recording Your Heritage Online

Camas nan Geall (bay of strangers) Ardnamurchan's long history of settlement can be traced through the rich layers of material evidence scattered about this unexpectedly fertile crescent in the lee of volcanic Ben Hiant (Beinn Shianta - holy mountain). Vestigial chambered cairn, parts of chamber evident but most cairn stones looted for later buildings. To the south, two graveyards, most notable the burial ground of the Campbells of Ardslignish, 18th century, with limemortared rubble masonry enclosing, among other fragments, two fine ogee-pedimented headstones carved with cherubs' heads. One stone depicts the Crucifixion in high relief, the other, dated 1737, a Campbell coat of arms flanked by reeded pilasters. Standing stone to south-west, one face carved with Early Christian motifs: a dog between two crosses. To the south (near Ardslignish farmhouse), old burying ground, now little more than a turf-walled enclosure. On the western headland, fragments of an Iron Age promontory fort. Around the bay, the evolution of the local dwelling types that superseded creel houses is well represented. Structures surviving in ruin include the round-angled, chimneyless stone house which had cruck couples and thatch, and the post-clearance 'improved' shepherd's cottage, with gables and slated roof. Sheep fanks built of stones from abandoned dwellings symbolise 19th century changes in land use and settlement.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NM56SE 6 563 610

NM 563 610. Burial-ground, Ardslignish: This site, which is marked 'Old Burrying Ground' on Bald's estate survey of 1806 (Information from the Scottish Record Office RHP 72), was not recorded by the officers of the Ordnance Survey; it is associated in local tradition with St Ciaran (Cameron 1954). Situated some 350m SW of the modern farmhouse of Ardslignish, it is bounded on the NE by a natural rock face. At the date of visit the site was overgrown with bracken, but the turf-covered remains of two curving dry-stone walls were identified; these have a thickness of about 1.8m at base, and enclose a D-shaped area measuring some 37m from NE to SW by 26m transversely. The entrance was in the NW sector, and in the W part of the enclosure there is a wall of uncertain thickness having an E-W length of about 9.5m, which may have formed

part of a building. A few upright stones in the same area may have been grave-markers. (Cf NM56SE 2.)

A Cameron 1954; RCAHMS 1980, visited 1971

This is the site preferred by the RCAHMS for the graveyard named after St Ciaran mac ant-Saeir. A few upright stones within this enclosure may be grave markers. This site is excluded from the SSSI. This is a desk assessment area.

J Wordsworth, SSSIs, Scottish Natural Heritage, 1993.


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