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Helmsdale, St John The Baptist's Chapel

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Medieval), Hospital (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Helmsdale, St John The Baptist's Chapel

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Medieval), Hospital (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Helmsdale Hospital

Canmore ID 7431

Site Number ND01NW 17

NGR ND 0246 1562

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

ND01NW 17 0246 1562

(ND 0246 1562) St John the Baptist's Chapel (NR) (Site of)

OS 25" map, (1971)

St John the Baptist's Chapel (Site of): 'The site of this chapel can be still traced. It stands in a Graveyard which is still used by the parishiners..'

Name Book 1871.

Helmsdale Hospital dedicated to St John the Baptist was founded before 1362 and was a dependent of Kinloss Abbey. William, Earl of Sutherland, is said to have bestowed upon Kinloss Abbey the hospital of St John Baptist at Hebnisden, 21 May 1362. This has been identified with the hospital of St John at Helmsdale, the master of which is said to have been subsequently a canonry and prebend of the cathedral at Dornoch. There is a reference, in 1578, to the chaplainry in the chapel of St John Baptist at Helmsdale.

Orig Paroch Scot 1855; J Mackay 1894; D E Easson 1957.

At this site is a low earthen bank (possible covering a wall) 2.0m wide and 0.3m high, forming a rectangle 15.0m E-W by 7.2m transversely, and it seems probable that this is all that remains of the chapel. The burial ground is still in use.

Visited by OS (W D J), 23 May 1960.

No change to previous field report.

Visited by OS (J B), 22 June 1976.


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