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Westfield, St Trostan's Chapel, Burial-ground And Priest Hillock

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Period Unassigned), Mound (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Westfield, St Trostan's Chapel, Burial-ground And Priest Hillock

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Chapel (Period Unassigned), Mound (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Westfield Grave Yard

Canmore ID 7933

Site Number ND06SE 7

NGR ND 0661 6412

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/7933

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

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

ND06SE 7 0672 6412

(ND 0661 6412) St Trostan's Chapel (NR) (Supposed Site of)

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

(ND 0672 6410) Priest Hillock (NR)

(ND 0663 6410) Baptismal Font (NR)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 1st ed., (1876)

At Westfield there are the ruins of an old chapel of Trostan or Drostan, evidently a Celtic foundation, and the burial ground, which is still in use. The baptismal font is reputed never to run dry.

D Beaton 1909.

St Trostan's Chapel is supposed to have stood in the graveyard - some say on the Priest Hillock.

Name Book 1872.

St Trostan's was a pre-Reformation chapel.

A Auld 1868.

In the graveyard centred at ND 066 641 no trace of St Trostan's Chapel could be found, and Priest Hillock at ND 0672 6412 appears to be a circular feature probably pre-dating the chapel. At ND 0662 6410, set in the face of the S wall of the graveyard, is a baptismal font, suggesting that the chapel was in or near the graveyard rather than on Priest Hillock. Priest Hillock measures 20.0m from N to S by 25.0m transversely and 2.0m high; it is constructed of stone with an almost circular cell containing traces of walling in the top, measuring 6.0m in diameter. Priest Hillock surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R D) 21 October 1964.

(ND 0661 6412) St Drostan's Chapel (NR) (site of)

(ND 0672 6412) Priest Hillock (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

The most likely site for St Trostan's Chapel (name verified by the farmer at Westfield) is in the graveyard published on the OS map, where the font still remains. The graveyard is still in occasional use; the earliest decipherable stone is dated 1741.

Priest Hillock (name verified) does not resemble the remains of a chapel. It is an amorphous turf-covered mound about 18.0m E-W by 16.0m and 1.8m high. It is mutilated by (1) plough-lines at the base, (2) the dumping of soil from the nearby drain, and (3) by a deep cutting into the N segment revealing a content of slabs, indicating that the mound is wholly or in part artificial, but its date and purpose are uncertain. Superimposed upon the summit is a perfectly circular mound of stones 5.9m in diameter and 0.5m average height, bounded by a well-defined but discontinuous line of horizontally-laid slabs protruding not more than 0.1m through the turf. Its shape, size and content suggest a cairn but its superimposition on an existing mound precludes precise assessment. Published survey (1:2500) revised.

Visited by OS (N K B) 17 August 1981.

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