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Lewis, Teampull Nan Cro' Naomh

Burial Enclosure(S) (Post Medieval), Cemetery (Medieval)-(Post Medieval), Chapel (13th Century)

Site Name Lewis, Teampull Nan Cro' Naomh

Classification Burial Enclosure(S) (Post Medieval), Cemetery (Medieval)-(Post Medieval), Chapel (13th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Teampull Na Cro Naomh

Canmore ID 4346

Site Number NB45NW 1

NGR NB 43280 59315

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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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

Recording Your Heritage Online

Teampall nan Crò Naomh (Church of the Holy Blood), possibly 13 th century Sunken remains of chapel with lonely burial ground, sited where stone-dyked pastures run down to meet the sea. The lumpy ruin is gable-less now, but putlock holes and evidence of openings can still be seen. All about lie weathered tombstones, and one or two unadorned 18th century burial chambers with large-bouldered, squared-off corners. Notice the good survival of shell lime harl and mortar clinging to the inner and outer walls of the northernmost chamber.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes ( - 1969)

NB45NW 1 43280 59315

(NB 433 593) Teampull nan Cro'Naomh (NR) (In Ruins)

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

The Object Name Book describes the church as ' The ruin of a church on the sea shore, which is about 45 links long, by 30 links wide. Its walls are about 5 feet high. Tradition says nothing about it, beyond that it was much visited to by Catholics in former times; so much so that they came from all the adjacent islands on a pilgrimage to it. It was built of stone and mortar with a loft. Attached to it is a grave yard in which are two vaults'.

(Name Book 1852)

"Holy Cross Church in Galan" listed.

(M Martin 1934).

"Teampull nan Cro'Naomh..., situated within an old grave-yard".

"The two gables are destroyed, and the earth outside the church reaches almost to the wall-heads". Despite Martin's version, "as it stands the name would appear to mean Church of the Holy Blood".

(RCAHMS 1928, visited 28 June 1921).

"Part of the outer walls remain, in a crumbling condition"

OS Reviser (W S) 21 June 1956.

Teampull nan Cro' Naomh, at NB 4329 5931, is as described and planned by the Commission. The graveyard is still in use and the name is still known locally.

Visited by OS (N K B) 16 June 1969.


Field Visit (28 June 1921)

Teampull nan Crò’ Naomh.

Near the seashore and about ¼ of a mile west-north-west of Galson farmhouse, Teampull nan Crò’ Naomh is situated within an old graveyard. It is oblong on plan and orientated. The two gables are destroyed, and the earth outside the church reaches almost to the wall heads, which are roughly 5 feet high on the inside. The church, measuring 19 feet by 12 feet 1 inch internally, with walls averaging 2 feet 6 inches in thickness, is entered by a door 2 feet 5 inches in width in the west of the south wall. Thirteen inches from the outside face this opening has 3 ½-inch checks, with bar-hole on either side and squared sconsions. The building has been lit by three windows at the east end, one window, 6 inches wide and splayed inwardly with stepped sills, being placed in each of the side walls and the other in the centre of the east gable; the last appears to have been 1 foot 6 inches wide. In the north wall are three (? putlog) holes 7 inches wide, and three are also seen in the south wall, but only two are in a corresponding position to the former.

As it stands, the name would appear to mean Church of the Holy Blood, but Martin refers, to the building as ‘Holy Cross Church in Galan’.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 28 June 1921.

OS map ref, Lewis ii

Note (2005)

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


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