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St. Colomba's Chapel, Coomb Island

Chapel (Early Medieval)(Possible), Enclosure (Period Unknown)

Site Name St. Colomba's Chapel, Coomb Island

Classification Chapel (Early Medieval)(Possible), Enclosure (Period Unknown)

Alternative Name(s) Ealan Na Coomb; Ealan Na Naoimph

Canmore ID 5793

Site Number NC66SE 5

NGR NC 6644 6420

NGR Description NC 6644 6420 and NC 6642 6428

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Tongue
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NC66SE 5 6644 6420 and 6642 6428

(NC 644 6420) St Columba's Chapel (NR) (site of)

OS 6"map, (1964)

Ealan na Coomb or Ealan na Naoimph, island of saints, had a chapel and burial place, the traces of which are still to be seen.

OSA 1792.

The site of St Columba's Chapel of which no trace remains.

Name Book 1873.

'The island of St Comb or Eilean Neve, where a church dedicated to St Bride (d. 525) and a monastery dedicated to St Columba (d. 597) once stood. Their ruins cannot now be traced with any degree of certainty'.

H Morrison 1883.

St Columba's chapel was consecrated in the days of the early Celtic church.

H F Campbell 1920.

Neave or Coomb Island was given to Watson in Gaelic as Eilean na Neimhe, posssibly for 'Island of the Nemed' - ie. a pagan sacred place taken over by Christianity.

W J Watson 1926.

No remains of the chapel or burial ground exist, although there is a disturbed but featureless area about 60 metres to the north of the published site.

Visited by OS (J L D) 27 April 1960.

There are no remains of a chapel at the published site. About 50m north, at NC 6642 6428, near the bottom of a south-facing hillside, are the remains of a roughly circular enclosure of unknown date and purpose; it appears as a grass covered platform 14.0m across with traces of stonework on the south periphery and with a definite scarp, up to 0.6m high, on the north where it is cut back into the slope. Some 45.0m to the south-west on level ground, is a linear scatter of twenty or so squarish and slab-like stones in isolation.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (J M) 23 August 1978.


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