MHG12106 - Assynt Old Parish Church - Inchnadamph


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Type and Period (1)

  • CHURCH (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NC22SW 5 2493 2199.
NC24912197 Church (NAT) OS 6"map, Sutherland, 2nd ed 1906

The origin of Assynt church is locally ascribed to Angus Macleod, laird of Assynt between 1436 and 1443. The earliest record notice appears to be 1455. The church stood at Kirktown, Balnaheglise or Achnahiglash, at E end of Loch Assynt. Between 1780 and 1793 there remained of the original church a high arched vault, burial place of Macleods of Assynt, with an apartment above it, supposed to be a place for private devotion. The upper apartment was removed before 1793; the vault, bearing no features of architectural interest and cemetery remain. A new church was built in mid 18th century and present church at end of 18th century, both outside the old graveyard.
Orig Paroch Scot 1855. <1>

The vault stands in graveyard SE of church, and is as described above. It is now empty and can be entered through doorway in N side The present church is still in normal use.
Visited by OS (G H P) 23 May 1962.

The vault and present church are as described by previous authorities except that vault is no longer accessible.
Visited by OS (J B) 12 August 1980.

The church, churchyard, boundary wall and gate were listed at Category B in 1998.

The Macleod Vault was Scheduled in 1999.

Macleod vault scheduled, but not the church itself.
See PR78: Inchnadamph Project
JW 8/12/00

Proposal to re-schedule from Historic Scotland received 20/10/02.The re-scheduling will include the churchyard in which the church stands and the site of any structure(s) which predate the vault. See assoc. docs. File.
J Aitken : 21/01/03

The scheduled area was altered by Historic Scotland on 31/7/2003 to include the churchyard and any structues which pre-date the Macleod Vault.

Church which had largely gone out of use and fallen into disrepair is being repaired by Historic Assynt at this moment. To be used as visitor/information centre (part) for the area and as a church part time. Proposals to restore the churchyard will follow. Hope to display the early cross in the church. Janet Hooper is acting as arch advisor to the project and recording the progress. - HAW 11/2004

Visited by the Assynt's Hidden Lives project in December 2009. The building measures 15m x 6m and is aligned E/W with an attached walled area at the W end measuring c. 5m x 5 m. It is surrounded by stone boundary walls which also encompass the graveyard, c. 32m x 26 m from north to south. Exterior walls are pebble-dashed and whitewashed. The gable ends at E and W are up to 7.5m high, the main entrance is in the south wall. There is a spire at the west end. Four windows are present on the south side, two on the north side. A royal air force commemorative monument is located at the west corner of the enclosing wall. <2>

The scheduled area of the Macleod Vault and the churchyard was specifically omitted from the Category B listing following re-assessment by Historic Environment Scotland in 2018 as part of their Dual Designations Project. The statutory listing address was also amended. <3>

GIS spatial data amended in 2019 according to position of building as seen on modern OS Mapping. <4>

See also: NC22SW0025 Graveyard
J Aitken : 07/01/03

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NC 2493 2199 (21m by 14m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC22SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

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