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Brabstermire House, St Tustans Chapel And Burial-ground

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

Site Name Brabstermire House, St Tustans Chapel And Burial-ground

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

Alternative Name(s) St Drostan; St Custan's Chapel

Canmore ID 9305

Site Number ND36NW 2

NGR ND 3171 6937

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND36NW 2 3171 6937.

(ND 3171 6937) St Custan's Chapel (NR) (site of)

OS 6" map, (1960)

St Tustan's Chapel (NR) (Site of)

Graveyard (NR) (Remains of)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1873)

A chapel dedicated to St Tustan stood on a small eminence. No vestige of it remains but several old people remember having seen part of it. Its garveyard is defined by an old bank about 2 chains (40.2m) long and 130 links (26m) broad. Some of the old people can remember its being used for burial.

Name Book 1873.

The dedication is a corruption of Drostan, late 6th century, which might indicate a Celtic origin for this chapel, but the building seen exposed by Beaton (1909) consisted of a nave, 19 by 11ft, and a chancel, 8ft square, the walls being 4ft thick, dry-built and plastered with shell-lime internally. At that time (c. 1909) the baptismal font was in Brabster House (known since at least 1873 as Stonyhill: ND 321 697, now in ruins).

By 1910 the chapel remains had been re-covered (RCAHMS 1911).

D Beaton 1909; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910; W J Watson 1926.

All that is visible at the chapel site, in the margin of a field adjacent to Brabstermire House, is a turf-covered rise approximately 22.0m E-W by 14.0m transversely by 0.5m high, much broken up by cattle using it as a feeding point; random stones were noted. Outside the E end of the rise a slight stony ridge may indicate the course of the burial ground wall. The minister at Canisbay and local people had no knowledge of a name applying to the chapel site.

Visited by OS (J M) 28 April 1982.


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