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Lewis, Barvas, Cladh Mhuire

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Cist (Period Unassigned), Cremation(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Lewis, Barvas, Cladh Mhuire

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Cist (Period Unassigned), Cremation(S) (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) St Mary's Church; Church Of St Mary In Barvas

Canmore ID 4282

Site Number NB35SE 7

NGR NB 3530 5173

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Barvas
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NB35SE 7 3530 5173.

(NB 353 517) Cladh Mhuire (NR)

OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1898)

'Church of St Mary in Barvas' - listed.

M Martin 1934.

No trace of the church can now be found, and the nearby burying ground, unenclosed, on a sandy hillock, contains neither tomb nor headstone.

Name Book 1852.

The 'Church of St Mary the Virgin, by the shore at Barvas, is covered with drifted sand.'

RCAHMS 1928.

There is no trace of the church to be seen within the burial ground, enlarged, at NB 3530 5173. The burial ground is still used, and is known as 'Cladh Mhuire'.

Visited by OS (N K B) 20 June 1969.

This chapel site was included in a research project to identify the chapel sites of Lewis and surrounding islands. The Lewis Coastal Chapel-sites survey recorded 37 such sites.

R Barrowman 2005


Excavation (2000)

NB 330 560 - 354 525

Rescue excavation of an eroding cemetery on Barvas Machair, Isle of Lewis revealed a number of cremations in stone-lined ditches, and a prone, extended female inhumation in a well-constructed cist. The cremations were dated by association with a rim and body sherd of decorated Iron Age pottery. The inhumation was accompanied by an iron bracelet, decorated with incised copper-alloy plates, which was found behind the back of the head. The lack of paralells for the bracelet makes it difficult to date, but its style is not incompatible with a Middle Iron Age date.

Sponsors: HS, Comunn Eachdraidh Bharabhais agus Bhru, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

M A MacLeod 2000


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