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Islay, Cill Tobar Lasrach

Burial Ground (Medieval)(Possible), Chapel (Medieval), Socketed Stone(S) (Period Unknown)

Site Name Islay, Cill Tobar Lasrach

Classification Burial Ground (Medieval)(Possible), Chapel (Medieval), Socketed Stone(S) (Period Unknown)

Canmore ID 37531

Site Number NR34NE 1

NGR NR 37371 45810

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kildalton And Oa
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR34NE 1 3736 4579.

(NR 3735 4579) Cill Tobar Lasrach (NR)

Chapel (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1900)

"Eaglais Tobar Lasrach", the church of the well of Lasrach, is the foundation of a very ancient chapel lying a little to the north of the well. It has been a small rectangular building about 23ft by 10 1/2ft internally. On the north side of the interior is an irregular piece of masonry. The door was in the south. The north and east walls are extended to form a circular enclosure and there is an entrance more or less corresponding to that in the chapel.

On either side of the opening is an upright stone, one with a circular hole, and the other with an oblong hole. Other pierced stones lie about. To the west of the enclosure is a small trench (shore pecked line on plan Graham 1895}). "A saint named Lassair is commemorated in Cill Lasrach, other wise Cill Tobar Lasrach. There is however nothing to show which saint of that name is meant."

R C Graham 1895; W J Watson 1926.

The remains of a chapel and enclosure (possibly the remains of a burial ground) lie in a sheltered hollow in pastureland. The chapel measures 7.2m east-west by 3.6m internally with turf covered walling up to 0.6m high and 1.0m thick. There is a poorly preserved entrance in the south wall. It lies in the north east corner of a sub oval enclosure and its the north and east walls form part of the enclosure wall. This measures 14m east-west by 11.8m over turf covered walling 0.7m high. The entrance appears to be in the south west and is flanked by holed stones as described by Graham (1895). The small trench mentioned by Graham is probably natural.

There is a poorly preserved wall situated approximately 50m south of the chapel at NR 3737 4575.

It is surrounded by rough boulders and the water flows into a modern trough.

Surveyed at 1:10000.

Visited by OS (TRG) 1 June 1978.


Field Visit (May 1976)

(NR 373 457) The turf-covered remains of a chapel occupying the NE side of a subcircular enclosure lie at the E foot of a rocky ridge in pasture about 0.8 km NE of Port Ellen. The chapel measures 7m from E to W by 3.4m transversely within walls about 1m in thickness and 0.8m in maximum height. The walls are of drystone rubble, and the angles are rounded externally and squared internally; a doorway 0.7m wide is located slightly w of the centre of the S side-wall. The enclosure, which measures some 14m in maximum extent from E to W, is formed by a turf-and-rubble dyke 1.3m thick and surviving in places to a height of O.7m. The entrance, in the SW sector, is flanked by a pair of socketed gate-piers, and a third pierced slab lies recumbent nearby. From near the NW angle of the chapel, the intermittent facing-stones of another dyke are visible ascending the rock outcrop for at least 8m to the NW, Nothing can be seen of the well (tobar) that gives its name to the site. The dedication was probably to the Irish female saint, Lasair (Graham 1895; Watson 1926; Kenney nd).

RCAHMS 1984, visited May 1976


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