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Kilberry Castle, Chapel

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Period Unassigned), Gravestone(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Kilberry Castle, Chapel

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Period Unassigned), Gravestone(S) (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) St Berchan's Chapel; Kilberry, Old Parish Church; Kilberry Castle Policies; Saint Berry's Chapel And Burial Ground

Canmore ID 38993

Site Number NR76SW 15

NGR NR 7085 6414

NGR Description NR c. 7085 6414

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish South Knapdale
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll


Field Visit (27 June 1973)

There are no visible remains of the chapel or burial ground. Miss Campbell (of Kilberry) suggested, however, that the mausoleum at NR 7082 6413 probably stands on the site of the chapel, and that the burial ground was centred at NR 7085 6414. She is also of the opinion that the chapel was dedicated to St Berchan. Twenty-four sculptured grave stones are housed in the DoE shelter at NR 7099 6425.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (IA) 27 June 1973.

Desk Based Assessment (1973)

NR76SW 15.00 c. 7085 6414

(Name: NR 7075 6420) Site of (NAT) St Berry's Chapel & Burial Ground (NR)

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

NR76SW 15.01 NR 70859 64130 Mausoleum

For medieval graveslab found at Port Ban, Coulaghailtro (NR 7068 6549) and possibly from this churchyard, see NR76NW 15.

Recent excavations reveal walls and a line of graves - covers removed, with one exception - between the cross (at NR 7085 6412 - NR76SW 3) and the family mausoleum, which was built in 1735 and may mark the site of the church. Several of the stones now in the DoE shelter were built into the wall of the mausoleum, and may belong to the graves just mentioned, perhaps uncovered when levelling the ground for the tomb. Most of the stones in the DoE shelter were recovered from walls or hearths by former lairds; some were found in a bridge to the gardens. There are a few early stones among the many medieval ones.

The graveyard, abandoned in the 18th c, when Cladh Dailachairn (NR76SW 7) was used, extended NW of the cross towards the access drive. Bones can be found anywhere along the bank and at the edge of the wood.

The bank between the house and the cross-base covers building rubble. There is a strong local tradition of a 'monastery' here, and 'an old building where the monks ate, with stone seats in it' was remembered as standing E of the castle, by an old man in 1913. This was blown up in 1849 for use as building material. No documentary evidence of a monastery has been found; a 'paroch church' is recorded c. 1620-60. The dedication is to either St (Fin)bar (578) or St Berchan (546). Local pronunciation, Cille-Bhairre, supports the former; a reference in literature to 'St Ferchanus in Knapdale' suggests the latter (see also NR76SW 15.1).

M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964.

Information from OS.


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