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Islay, Kilbride

Chapel (Period Unassigned), Well (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Kilbride

Classification Chapel (Period Unassigned), Well (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Cill Bhride; Tobar An T-sagairt

Canmore ID 37580

Site Number NR34NE 6

NGR NR 3844 4648

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. 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 6 3844 4648.

(NR 3846 4646) Cill Bhride (NR) Chapel (NR) (In Ruins)

(NR 3847 4645) Tobar an t-Sagairt (NR)

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

The remains of St Bride's Chapel measuring 30ft by 12ft within walls standing to a maximum height of 3ft. The entrance appears to have been in the south, and one or two heavy blocks of stone lie within the building, which is dry built. There are traces of an enclosure.

A cross marked slab which formerly stood 11ft east of the ruin is now, after various moves, in NMAS. It is 2ft 3ins long; the cross, in relief within a ring, is equal armed; and the affinities appear to be with 7th to 9th century Wales.

'Tobar an t-Sagairt', the Well of the Priest, lies on the south side of the burial ground.

R C Graham 1895; W D Lamont 1972; Name Book 1878.


Field Visit (May 1976)

The remains of this chapel are situated on the left bank of the Kilbride River about 250 m SE of Kilbride farmhouse, and

occupy a site which slopes southwards towards the river. It is an oblong unicameral structure which measures internally

10.2m from E to W by 4.7m transversely; there are the remains of a doorwav-onenine in the W half of the S side-wall The walls are of drystone rubble masonry and have rounded angles externally and internally; they measure slightly more

than 1m in thickness and stand to an average height of 0.8m. There are slight traces of an inner scarcement at the centre of the E end-wall.

The site is bounded by field-banks and natural escarpments which define an approximately rectilinear area

about 22 m from E to W- by 15m in width. About 7m SE of the SE angle of the building are the collapsed remains of a slab-roofed natural spring known as 'the priest's well' (tobar an t-sagairt).

This site is evidently of Early Christian origin, and was dedicated to St Bridget. The existing ruins, however, are

probably those of a church intended to replace those at Kildalton (RCAHMS 1984, No. 367) and Kilnaughton (No. 373), whose erection at Kilbride was decided upon in 1651. '

Crois-an T-Sagairt (The priest's cross'). This cross-marked slab of Early Christian date stood about 3-5m E of

the chapel until about 1838.2 when it was taken to Kildalton manse. It was removed to the grounds of Kildalton House in 1882, and transferred in 1923 to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. It is a rectangular slab of local

quartzitic sandstone, rounded at the top, 0.73m high by 0.24m wide. At the top of one face it bears in false relief an

outline Latin cross within a circular frame 25mm wide. The sunken areas have been lightly peeked, and the armpits of the cross, which are slightly rounded, are a little more deeply sunk. (PSAS, 17 (1882-3), 278,281-3 and fig. 4; 57 (1922-3), 294-5; Kildalton Antiquities Catalogue, no. 2; Graham, Islay, pp. 76-7, no. 77; Lament, Sculptured Stones, pi. v d).

Visited May 1976


Field Visit (6 June 1978)

The remains of a chapel situated on a sloping terrace near a small stream. It measures 13m east-west by 7m over turf covered roughly coursed walling 1.1m wide and up to 0.8m high. The entrance appears to be in the south wall and there is a quantity of tumble in the interior There are slight traces of revetment wall 4m outside the chapel on the south but no clear evidence of an enclosure.

At the published OS siting of the well is a small marshy area with several stones lying around but forming no structure. The names were not confirmed.

Surveyed at 1:10000.

Visited by OS (TRG) 6 June 1978.


For cross, see NR34NE 6.01.


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