MHG1405 - Pennyland Mausoleum, Victoria Walk


Site of early C17-C19 burial ground and chapel

Type and Period (1)

  • MAUSOLEUM (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Full description of the Mausoleum and graves in Caithness FCB Vol 6 No7, April 2003 - HAW 5/2003

Site visit 27/09/2002: building lies beside trackway along cliff edge. No obvious access and gateway now blocked. One coping stone from top level on the ground to the W. Window in E wall suggests that building was probably higher. Mild erosion developing around the sides of the building on the exterior. - HAW 9/2002

From Dr. Eric Voice, Thurso:
He has been concerned about the deteriorating state of this site for many years. Following the destruction of the marble plaque in 1981 (see OS note, below) he walled up the chapel, so the interior is now inaccessible to all but the agile (walls are 11 feet high). Over the last year or so he has noted several holes dug here - the most recent one was some 6 feet deep, apparently someone 'looking for an ancestor'.

He has done some soil anaylsis and it registered Ph 8.6 this morning - he will measure calcium concentration but reckons about 400 people buried there. Soil conditions are such that bone has broken down.
Coping stones are apparently being thrown down and there is general vandalism.
He is preparing a report on the site which we should receive by Christmas.
Phone call, 30/11/00. See also Assoc. Docs.

Archive Information and copies of references requested from the RCAHMS by JW 30/11/00
John Wood

The marble plaque has now gone but otherwise no change to the previous field report.
Visited by OS (J M) 24 September 1981.

(ND 1095 6903) Mausoleum (NAT) on site of (NAT) Burial Ground (NR) OS 6" map, (1971)

This is a plain, stone-built enclosure mesuring 10.4m by 6.0m with its main axis E-W, and is as described by the RCAHMS. The mausoleum possibly incorporates some 17th century structure but is more likely to date from about 1800, the last date on a memorial plaque. In the round-headed window to E of the door, a marble plaque has been inserted, bearing the following inscription: "To commemorate that the Murrays of Pennyland, Scotscalder, Clairdon, Castlehill, including Richard Marray MP 1643, Patrick Murray MP 1698, are buried here 1440 - 1800".
Visited by OS (W D J) 17 April 1962.

There are the remains of a chapel about 1/2 mile W of Thurso along the Victoria Walk. The gables have been reduced to the level of the side walls, the doors and windows built up and the interior used as a burial place. It measures 44ft 3ins by 19ft 8ins. In the S wall have been two round- headed windows and a larger window has occupied the centre of the E gable. The building probably dates form the 17th century.

Mausoleum (Murray's of Pennyland Family) on site of Chapel. Private Burying Place and Site of Chapel: This is a very small burying place, said to be on the site of a chapel. The Murrays of Pennyland built a high wall round this burial place about the middle of the 16th century. Name Book 1872.

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred ND 1095 6903 (15m by 11m)
Map sheet ND16NW
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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