MHG2551 - St.Tear's Chapel


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CHAPEL (Early Medieval to 19th Century - 561 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

St Tear's Chapel (NR) (site of) OS 6" map, (1968)

St Tear's Chapel, Shorelands: Foundations of St Tear's Chapel are clearly visible. Within a bank which has probably marked the outer faces of the walls, the stones of which have been removed, the measurement is 40 by 23ft.
The chapel associated with a clan feud in 15th century was visited by Bishop Forbes in 1762 and described by him as a 'singular little chapel built of stone and mortar, without lime, roofless with walls almost entire, windowless except in S wall, and resorted to on Feast of Holy Innocents for prayer, offerings, and dancing. Auld lists it as pre-Reformation.
The dedication is a source of speculation and is given as St Tear's, St Tayre, St Tay, St Ere, and St Aire, but may be a transerence in Roman Catholic times from a Celtic dedication to St Airerain or Ereran, whose feast day is one day later than that of the Holy Innocents.
RCAHMS 1911; J B Craven 1886; A Auld 1868.

Footings of this chapel are 11 by 7m. It is known locally as St Tear's (info from Mr Macpherson, farmer, Shorelands).
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (R D L) 21 April 1963.

The name appears to be a translation of the Gaelic 'Cill nan Deur': 'Church of Tears'.
W J Watson 1926.

St Tear's Chapel measures 14 by 9.4m externally and is overgrown and in very reduced condition. About 50 to W is a scatter of large stones, some of which may be dressed and therefore formerly associated with chapel.
C E Batey 1981.

The chapel remains are as described by the previous authorities.
Visited by OS (J B) 22 July 1982.

George Watson, Caithness Chapel Sites (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG3470.

Auld, A, 1868, The ministers and men in the far north, 2, 4 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG1925.

Craven, J B (ed.), 1886, Journals of the episcopal visitations of the Right Rev. Robert Forbes M A of the dioceses of Ross and Caithness and of the dioceses of Ross and Argyll, 1762 and 1770, with a history of the episcopal church in the diocese of Ross, chiefly during the 18th c, 211 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2077.

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 193-4, No. 595 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Watson, W J, 1926, The history of the Celtic place-names of Scotland: being the Rhind lectures on archaeology (expanded) delivered in 1916, 334 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2918.

Myatt, L J, 1975, 'The early ecclesiatical remains of Wick Parish', Caithness Fld Club Bulletin Vol. 1 Oct 1975, p.81-4, 81, 82-3 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1656.

Batey, C E, 1981, Caithness coastal survey 1981: interim report, No. 141; plan (Text/Report/Fieldwork Report). SHG1959.

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred ND 3672 5447 (14m by 10m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND35SE
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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