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Eilean Fhianain

Architectural Fragment(S) (Medieval)

Site Name Eilean Fhianain

Classification Architectural Fragment(S) (Medieval)

Canmore ID 356105

Site Number NM76NE 1.12

NGR NM 75213 68279

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Arisaig And Moidart
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Inverness-shire


Field Visit (September 2017)

At least seventeen architectural fragments in and around the church indicate the former presence of a medieval building of a status similar to other parish churches in the area, for example at Kiel (NM64NE 2) and Kilchoan (NM46SE 3). In addition to several fragments which have been reused within the fabric of the present church, for example in the doorway (NM76NE 1), in the N window of the burial aisle (NM76NE 1.11), and the E face of the Robertson Macdonald cross, there are large, loose fragments that have recently been gathered together within the ENE end of the church. These are described below. The majority of the sandstone used in these architectural pieces appears to have been quarried from Inninmore Bay (NM74SW 1), 26km to the S, but some are of sandstone that is more reminiscent of that quarried at Carsaig Bay on Mull (NM 533 219), 51km to the SSW.

(1) A carved fragment of Inninmore Bay sandstone belonging to a window opening. It measures 0.39m in height, 0.19m in breadth and 0.17m in depth. Slightly curved in profile, the stone bears a simple chamfer along its edge and three bar holes in the inner surface.

(2) A carved fragment of Inninmore Bay sandstone belonging to a window opening. It measures 0.25m in height, 0.16m in breadth and 0.2m in depth. The outer corner is dressed with two shallow rolls and there is a glazing check on the inner surface.

(3) A carved fragment, possibly of Carsaig sandstone, which has evidently been a jamb for a splayed window. It measures 0.20m in height, 0.45m in breadth and 0.34m in depth. It bears a filleted roll flanked by two possible chamfers on one side and a shallow roll and hollow on the other. It compares well with similar late medieval examples found within the burial ground at Kiel, Lochaline (RCAHMS 1980, Fig. 162 E).

(4) A small fragment of sandstone measuring 0.75m in height, 0.27m in breadth and 0.21m in depth. Possibly part of the same window as (3).

(5) A small fragment of sandstone measuring 0.7m in height, 0.15m in breadth and 0.14m in depth. Possibly part of the same window as (3).

(6) A right-angled fragment of sandstone, possibly from Carsaig. It measures 0.26m in height, 0.37m in breadth and 0.37m in depth, and bears a roll moulding flanked by hollows.

(7) A cruciform block of Inninmore Bay sandstone, possibly reused from a late-medieval cross-head or architectural fragment (Fisher 2001). The stone measures 0.51m in height, 0.28m in breadth across the arms and 0.2m in thickness. On one side there is a relief cross and on the other a figure of Christ on the crucifix with details of loincloth, ribcage and head. The top of the cross bears a cup 0.12m in diameter and 0.03m in depth. The stone is set in a modern alcove in the E gable and currently used for offerings of coinage.

Visited by HES Survey and Recording (GFG, ATW) September 2017.


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