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Killevin Church

Bank (Earthwork) (Period Unassigned), Burial Enclosure (18th Century), Burial Ground (Medieval), Church (Medieval)(Possible), Sheela Na Gig (Medieval)

Site Name Killevin Church

Classification Bank (Earthwork) (Period Unassigned), Burial Enclosure (18th Century), Burial Ground (Medieval), Church (Medieval)(Possible), Sheela Na Gig (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Crarae Garden; Killevin Chapel And Burial Ground

Canmore ID 40022

Site Number NR99NE 4

NGR NR 98639 97224

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/40022

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmichael Glassary
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Activities

Field Visit (4 October 1971)

There is no visible evidence of an earlier church incorporated in the mausoleum which is dated 1707 on a lintel above the now blocked doorway; nor is there any trace of the foundations mentioned in the ONB. The graveyard was extended in 1924 and there is now neither trace nor local knowledge of the sculptured cross and tombstone. The carved stone is at NR 9866 9722, in the E wall.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (DWR) 4 October 1971

Desk Based Assessment (1971)

NR99NE 4 98639 97224.

(Name: NR 9865 9727) Church of Killevin (NR) (Site of)

(NR 9863 9723 and NR 9864 9724) Sculptured Stones (NR)

OS 6" map (1900)

See also NR99NE 5.

Killevin, which Watson suggests is Cill Eibhinn or Aobhinn, "one of the holy maidens subject to Brigit", was according to early sources, the original parish church of Kilmichael Glassary, which later was moved to Kilneuair on Loch Awe-side (NM80SE 3).

The mausoleum in the burial ground - the family tomb of the Campbells of Lochbuie - might incorporate part of an earlier church, according to Campbell, while the Ordnance Survey Name Book [ONB] (1870) states that the walls of the church were still distinct in 1870, though only 6" above the ground. There is an early sculptured cross built into the E wall near the main road end. The other stone mentioned by the ONB is a small sculptured tombstone said to have come from Iona (but this is doubtful). The burial ground is still in use.

I A Fraser 1971; W J Watson 1926; M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964

A stone, 3' high and 9" - 10" wide, in the N wall of the graveyard is a Sheela-na-Gig (a grotesque female figure, Irish in origin).

K M Dickie 1962

Information from OS.

Field Visit (June 1985)

The modern rectangular enclosure of this burial-ground extends to the A83 trunk road, close to the NW shore of Loch Fyne, but the older gravestones are on a slightly higher terrace overlooking the low promontory at the mouth of the Crarae Burn. The Crarae chambered cairn (en.1) lies about 40m beyond the NW wall of the burial-ground, and it is possible that one unusually massive grave-marker has been removed from the cairn-material.

The burial-ground is evidently of Early Christian origin (see carved stones, infra), and Watson suggested a possible dedication to Eibhinn (Old Irish, Aibind), a female saint associated with St Bride (en.2). This rare commemoration gains some support from the frequency of dedications to the latter saint in this area (Nos. 50-8). There are, however, no traces of an early enclosure, or of the supposed medieval chapel which in the 19th century was believed to have preceded Kilneuair (No. 81) as the main church of Glassary parish (en.3*).

At the highest point of the burial-ground there stands a rectangular enclosure measuring 6.9m by 6.3m over lime-mortared rubble walls up to 2.8m in height which terminate in a bevelled coping above a projecting cornice of schist slabs. In the S wall is a blocked doorway with sandstone dressings, whose lintel bears the incised date 1727. Set into this doorway is a schist panel erected in 1874 to commemorate Archibald Campbell of Knockbuy (1693-1790) 'and other members of the Knockbuy and Kilberry families, who are buried here' (en.4). The internal wall-faces incorporate a series of blank recesses but there are no identifiable funerary monuments.

RCAHMS 1992, visited June 1985

[see RCAHMS 1992 No. 63 for a description of funerary monuments and other carved stones]

External Reference (20 October 1992)

The sculptured stone fell from the E wall in 1991. It has since been removed to Cumlodden church (NS09NW 12) on the 3 September 1992.

Information from Historic Scotland to RCAHMS, 20 October 1992.

Measured Survey (January 2003)

NR 9865 9722 A topographic survey was carried out in January 2003 of the graveyard at Killevin Church and of the adjacent ground within Crarae Garden which adjoins it to the NW. The stone-built mausoleum within the graveyard measures 7 x 6m, and is located at the E end of an oval mound, c 20m long by 16m wide at the base and 8m wide at the top. This mound stands

c 0.6m high, is aligned E-W, and most likely represents the foundations of an earlier church. About 30m to the S of the mausoleum is a curvilinear scarped edge which clearly represents an earlier boundary wall around the church and graveyard, and is divided in two by a pathway. It remains unclear whether this boundary once formed a curvilinear enclosure around the church or simply one side of the graveyard.

A 5 x 1m trench was excavated 4.4m outside the existing drystone wall which forms the NW boundary of the graveyard. The trench was excavated to examine a scarped edge, 0.6m high, on this side of the graveyard, which might represent either a continuation of the earlier church boundary wall or part of the church itself. Excavation revealed a bank of stone 0.7m high and at least 2.2m wide composed of large boulders, some over 0.6 x 0.2m. On the NW edge of this stone bank were some smaller stones, perhaps tumble, from which a sherd of green-glazed medieval pottery, slag, charcoal and burnt bone were recovered.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: NTS.

D Alexander 2003

Field Visit (December 2007)

This is a short section of the earlier graveyard bank (site A) which extends

beyond the drystone wall of the current graveyard, northwards into the NTS ground. It measures c. 20m long and 4m wide and stands c. 0.6m high. A small trial trench was excavated into this feature in 2003 (Alexander 2003). The trench was 5m long, 1m wide, and was excavated 4.4m outside the existing drystone wall which forms the northwestern boundary of the graveyard. The trench was excavated to examine a scarped edge, 0.6m high, on this side of the graveyard which might represent either a continuation of the earlier church boundary wall or indeed part of the church itself. Excavation revealed a bank of stone 0.7m high and at least 2.2m wide comprised of large boulders some over 0.6m long by 0.2m thick. On the north-western edge of this stone bank were some smaller stones perhaps tumble from which a sherd of green glazed medieval pottery, slag, charcoal and burnt bone were recovered.

(CRA07 008)

Information from NTS (SCS) November 2013

References

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