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Eilean Fhianain, South East Burial Enclosure

Burial Enclosure (Post Medieval), Cross (19th Century), Grave Marker(S) (Post Medieval), Lazy Beds(S) (Post Medieval)

Site Name Eilean Fhianain, South East Burial Enclosure

Classification Burial Enclosure (Post Medieval), Cross (19th Century), Grave Marker(S) (Post Medieval), Lazy Beds(S) (Post Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Macnaughton; Protestant

Canmore ID 356229

Site Number NM76NE 1.13

NGR NM 7525 6826

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. 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 (5 April 2016)

This burial enclosure is situated in the SE part of the island and is traditionally said to have been the burial place of the Protestant community of Sunart and Ardmurchan (J Kirkby pers. Comm.). It is roughly trapezoidal on plan, measuring about 45m from NNW to SSE by 36m transversely, within a grass-grown earth and stone bank 2.9m thick and 0.6m high. The latter is heavily robbed and eroded on the E, where it is separated from the cliff-edge by a narrow berm. There is an entrance about 2m wide roughly midway along the NNW end, which now faces on to the marshy ground around the source of the small, E-flowing burn. The NW corner of the enclosure has been destroyed by the construction of the large artificial terrace immediately E of the church, subsequently used for burials (NM 7524 6827).

In its SW corner the enclosure contains what may have been once a rectangular fenced area, measuring 9m from WSW to ENE by 8m transversely. It is marked by slight external scarps on the NNW and ENE immediately N of a roughly rectangular plot of eleven grass- and rush-grown lazy beds measuring 24m from WSW to ENE by 7m transversely. The individual beds measure between 1.9m and 2.5m in breadth and up to 0.2m in height. There is a marked scarp on the NNW where the ground drops down 0.4m to the general level of the enclosure, while one of the furrows on the SSE cuts into the crest of the enclosure bank, suggesting that they are late in the sequence.

The enclosure also contains at least east 21 simple boulder grave-markers and nine small cairns concentrated on the E and NW. There is, in addition, a striking uninscribed slab (now leaning at a slight angle to the E), measuring 1.4m high, 0.37m wide and 0.01m thick, situated near the SE corner of the enclosure. However, these are all overshadowed by a railed area containing (amongst other grave-markers) a substantial Late Victorian stone cross on a pedestal bearing the following inscription:

Erected By / Samu[e]l Macnaughtan, Maclean, Australia / In Affectionate Memory Of His Father / Ewen Macnaughton, / Died At Salen, Loch Sunart, 3rd June 1850 Aged 53 Years / Mary Cameron, His Mother / Widow Of Ewen Macnaughtan / Died 12th June 1874, Aged 55 Years / Janet, His Sister / Died At Logierait Manse, 23rd Jan. 1855 Aged 13 Years / Mary, His Sister / Widow Of Dr John Cameron / Died at Onich, 3rd May 1887, Aged 37 Years / John, His Brother / Died At Maclean, Australia, 16th May 1909 Aged 58 Years / The Above Samuel Macnaughtan, Died At Maclean, Australia, 5th July 1906 Aged 62 Years / And The Revd. Duncan Macnaughtan, His Brother / Died At Campbeltown, 21st Oct. 1916, Aged 72 Years.

Visited by HES, Survey and Recording (ATW, GG) 5 April 2016.


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