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South Uist, Howmore, Teampull Mor

Church (Period Unassigned)

Site Name South Uist, Howmore, Teampull Mor

Classification Church (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 9870

Site Number NF73NE 1.01

NGR NF 7580 3646

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish South Uist
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Howmore (An t'-Hogh Mor), 12 th/13 th century (if Norse origin, haugr = burial mound) Occupying a prehistoric site and possibly dating back to the 6th century (an Early Christian graveslab lies among the ruins), this fragmentary group of two medieval churches and two surviving chapels is one of the most important religious sites in the Outer Hebrides. It became an important seat of learning during the Lordship of the Isles and was the burial place of the Clanranald chiefs after the Reformation. By the end of the 17th century the buildings were probably ruinous. Several burial enclosures and the kirkyard wall, mid-late 19th century.

Standing among graves on rushy ground formerly surrounded by marshes, the beautifully weathered lumps of mortared rubble comprise: Teampall Mor/Mhoire (St. Mary), 13 th century, the former parish church, now reduced to a section of its east gable, pierced by two lancets and a pair of aumbries; Caibeal Dhiarmaid (Dermot's Chapel), a smaller church to its east with only a lancetted east gable still standing; Caibeal Dubhghaill (Dugall's Chapel), just outside the walled enclosure, a small, thick-walled cell with steep gables and deep splayed jambs; and Caibeal Chlann 'ic Ailein (Clanranald's chapel) to the north east of the site, believed to be a post-Reformation structure, c.1574, although two earlier phases (one pre-13 th century, possibly contemporary with the construction of Caibeals Dhiarmaid and Dubhghaill) have recently been identified. Within lies a fragment of stone found nearby, with 13 th-century dogtooth carving.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press


Project (6 September 2005 - 8 September 2005)

Scottish and Southern Electricity Plc commissioned SUAT Ltd to undertake an archaeological walkover survey on the route of overhead power cables running from Drimore to North Glendale on the island of South Uist, Western Isles. The survey was to be conducted in advance of refurbishment of the poles supporting the power cables, commencing at NGR NF 7690 4035 and proceeding southwards over a distance of approximately 25km. The work (SUAT site code SU01) was undertaken during the period 6th-8th September 2005 in varying weather conditions including both bright sunshine and rain squalls.

The requirement was to evaluate those sections of the line where groundworks or vehicle access would be necessary, assessing the possible impact of the work on known or previously unrecorded archaeological sites, as well as locating and describing the latter. Four previously unrecorded sets of features were noted on known sites, while a mitigation strategy agreed with SSE ensured that the refurbishment work was able to proceed without disturbance or damage to the archaeology of South Uist.

SUAT Ltd. 2005


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