MHG17330 - Burial Ground - Cladh Chiaran, Camus nan Geall


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

NM56SE 2 5605 6184.

(NM 5605 6184) Old Burial Ground (NAT)
OS 6"map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1902)

An ancient burial ground called Cladh Chiarain, after St Ciaran mac an t-Saeir (d. 549) who is said to be buried there. It is a small enclosure and contains a cross-inscribed stone.
M E M Donaldson 1923; W J Watson 1926.

Cladh Chiarian, a disused burial ground, marked by a turf-covered wall, overlaid by modern fence. Within it a walled enclosure has been built, probably as a private burial plot. The cross-inscribed stone and a few 18th-century grave-slabs are within the graveyard.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (N K B) 8 June 1970.

Burial-ground, Camas nan Geall: The remains of this burial-ground comprise a ruinous outer enclosure-wall and an inner structure of lime-mortared rubble masonry. This measures 8.2m from NE to SW 5.9m transversely within walls 0.5m in thickness which stand to a uniform height of 0.9m; the entrance is in the NE wall, This structure may be ascribed to the 18th century and it is possible that the burial-ground as a whole was created at that period for the Roman Catholic members of the family of Campbell of Ardslignish. (Three 18th-century funerary monuments within the burial ground are described by the RCAHMS - see NM56SE 6 for an earlier burial-ground in the vicinity.)
A standing stone immediately to the SW of the burial-ground measures 2.30m in height and 0.90m by 0.23m at the base. The stone itself has not been shaped, and was probably erected in its present position in the Bronze Age, but subsequently the W face has been decorated with several motifs, all carved in low relief within a plain border.
RCAHMS 1980, visited 1971

(NM 5605 6184) Cladh Chiarain (NR)
(NM 5603 6184) Cross Slab (NR)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1974)

The burial ground was listed at Category B in 1985.

A burial ground traditionally attributed to St Ciaran mac an t-Saeir is sited here. A standing stone within the graveyard has an early style Christian cross and other symbols incised on one face. The RCAHMS describes the surviving enclosure as a graveyard built in the 18th century for local Roman Catholics. This has been a desk assessment area.
J Wordsworth, SSSIs, Scottish Natural Heritage, 1993

Cladh Chiarain, burial ground and standing stone, Camas nan Geall, were Scheduled by Historic Scotland in 1999.

The graveyard is situated 80m W of the chambered cairn at Camas Nan Geall (SMR NM56SE0001) in a dramatic location, facing the sea to the W but surrounded elsewhere by steep slopes. The graveyard is as described in 1971 (RCAHMS, 1980, 126-8). The 18th century graveslabs are propped up against the W side of the walled enclosure. The cross-inscribed standing stone, SMR NM56SE0002, is situated just to the SW of the graveyard.
Field Verification Project (West Lochaber) - J Robertson, 03/2004

The ACCORD team (Archaeology Community Co-production Of Research Data) worked with the Ardnamurchan Community Archaeology Group from 8–10 August 2014. At Camas nan Geall we recorded and modelled three headstones in a graveyard and a standing stone with early medieval carvings adjacent to this graveyard, and in the nearby town a graveslab in the Kilchoan Parish Churchyard. We used the techniques Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and photogrammetry. The project aimed to co-design and co-produce 3D digital data of heritage sites that are of significance to the community groups and which they wished to record.
Archive: ADS and National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE)
Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Stuart Jeffrey, Mhairi Maxwell and Cara Jones – Glasgow School of Art
(Source: DES, Volume 16)

It was proposed that the burial ground, including the standing stone, be de-listed in September 2016 as part of a Historic Environment Scotland project looking at dual designations of sites in the Highlands, though they would remain a scheduled monument. <1>

The burial ground and standing stone were removed from the statutory list by Historic Environment Scotland on 22/09/2016. <2>

See also:
MHG364 Cross slab

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred NM 5604 6186 (23m by 24m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NM56SE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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