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Kilkivan, Old Parish Church And Graveyard

Burial Ground (Medieval), Church (Medieval)

Site Name Kilkivan, Old Parish Church And Graveyard

Classification Burial Ground (Medieval), Church (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Chapel; Kilkivan Chapel (St Kevin's) Kilkivan Burial Ground

Canmore ID 38423

Site Number NR62SE 9

NGR NR 65166 20119

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Campbeltown
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR62SE 9 65166 20119.

(NR 6516 2011) Chapel (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map (1924)

This chapel is said to be pre-Reformation.

Name Book 1866

The remains of this church or chapel are in poor condition with the walls standing to a height of 3.0m except on the N (ompletely removed for 6.5m) and the E (only part of thee foundations visible, 0.2m high).

Revised at 1:2500.

(Undated) information in OS archaeology record cards.

Old Parish Church, Kilkivan: The ruins of this church stand within a graveyard some 6.5km W of Campbeltown. The church as presumably dedicated to St Kevin, but nothing is known of the circumstances of its foundation or of the early history of the parish. For a short period during the first half of the 17th century the parish appears to have been united with those of Kilbland and Kilcolmkill, and in 1772 it was finally annexed to the parish of Campbeltown. The date at which the church was abandoned for worship is not known, but it is described in the OSA (1794) as being ruinous but 'in tolerable preservation'.

Today the building is in a fragmentary state, the eastern portion of the N wall being entirely lacking and the E gable-wall being represented only by footings. Moreover, the S wall appears to have been partially rebuilt at a comparatively recent date, so that only the lowermost portion of the original masonry remains undisturbed. Thee SE angle has also been reconstructed, and an 18th century burial-enclosure has been built against the S side of the eastern portion of the S wall.

The original building appears to have been an oblong single-chambered structure measuring about 17.4m from E to W by about 7.2m transversely over walls some 0.8m in thickness. The masonry is of roughly-coursed local rubble with quoins and dressings of yellowish-grey sandstone. The only surviving doorway is placed towards the W end of the N wall. Fragments of two original windows survive in the E section of the S wall. Other windows may originally have been situated elsewhere in the S wall, while a break in the masonry at the centre of the W gable probably indicates the former existence of a high-level light in this position. The RCAHMS give full architectural details of this church, and state that it may tentatively be ascribed to the 13th century. They also describe and ilustrate eight 14th / 15th century West Highland tombstones which lie at the E end of the church, together with two post- Reformation tombstones, outwith the church.

RCAHMS 1971, visited 1965


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