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Reay, Old Parish Church

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Burial Vault (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Reay, Old Parish Church

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Burial Vault (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Reay Old Kirk; Reay, Old Burial Ground

Canmore ID 7350

Site Number NC96SE 3

NGR NC 96905 64831

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/7350

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Reay
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

NC96SE 3.00 96905 64831

NC96SE 3.01 NC 9691 6483 Cross-Slab

(NC 9691 6483) Church (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

The remains of the old church, allegedly a Roman Catholic chapel, are used as the burial place of the MacKays of Bighouse.

Name Book 1873.

The church was dedicated to Colman, evidently a Celtic foundation. Part of the old building, used as the parish church until the new church was built in 1739, may yet be seen in the walls of the house recently renovated in the old burial ground.

D Beaton 1909.

In the NE. corner of the churchyard of Reay are reconstructed remains of part of the old church, measuring interiorly 16' 2" x 11' 8". Towards the S. end is a tablet bearing two cojoined shields. Dexter, On a chevron between two bears' heads couped; a buck's head erased between two hands holding daggers, all proper; Sinister, Quarterly, 1st and 4th, the Sinclair galley; 2nd and 3rd a lion rampart; dividing the quarters a cross engrailed. Beneath, the remains of an inscription to the effect that the aisle or a part of it belongs to Angus Mackay of Bighouse. On the end wall to the right of the entrance is another panel bearing at the top the initials DMM and MML in the centre, a shield charged with an eagle's head erased, dividing the date 1691 and the motto TIME DEUM. On the lower part is an inscription narrating that the fourth part of this "ile" belongs to Mr David Munro and Margaret Munro.

Visited by RCAHMS, 16th September 1910

Activities

Field Visit (1873)

Reference (1909)

Field Visit (16 September 1910)

In the NE. corner of the churchyard of Reay are reconstructed remains of part of the old church, measuring interiorly 16' 2" x 11' 8". Towards the S. end is a tablet bearing two cojoined shields. Dexter, On a chevron between two bears' heads couped; a buck's head erased between two hands holding daggers, all proper; Sinister, Quarterly, 1st and 4th, the Sinclair galley; 2nd and 3rd a lion rampart; dividing the quarters a cross engrailed. Beneath, the remains of an inscription to the effect that the aisle or a part of it belongs to Angus Mackay of Bighouse. On the end wall to the right of the entrance is another panel bearing at the top the initials DMM and MML in the centre, a shield charged with an eagle's head erased, dividing the date 1691 and the motto TIME DEUM. On the lower part is an inscription narrating that the fourth part of this "ile" belongs to Mr David Munro and Margaret Munro.

Visited by RCAHMS, 16th September 1910

Field Visit (23 November 1964)

This small 17th or 18th century burial vault in the old graveyard of Reay has been modernised and restored. It is reputedly built on the remains of a 16th century church but no evidence to substantiate this statement could be found. The burial panels mentioned above are still in situ and the cross-slab has been restored.

Visited by OS (R D) 23 November 1964.

Field Visit (20 August 1981)

No change to the previous field report.

Visited by OS (J M) 20 August 1981.

References

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