MHG29787 - Burial ground - St. Mary's Church, Dunvegan, Skye


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CEMETERY (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

(NG 2548 4782) Church (In Ruins) (NAT)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

The ruin of the post-Reformation parish church, a plain rubble-built structure originally oblong on plan, to which in the 18th century a north burial aisle was added. The lintel of the N door is inscribed 'I ML 1694'. A burial enclosure against the west gable has a good Renaissance doorway and balustrade dated 1735. The churchyard is still known as Kilmuirm as is also the adjoining township, preserving the ancient dedication to St Mary. In the Kirkyard are three grave slabs with a claymore and foliaceous designs carved upon them (each fully described), also a number of 'throuch' stones dating from the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries.
Orig Paroch Scot 1954; T S Muir 1885; F T Macleod 1910; RCAHMS 1928

The remains of St Mary's Church are as described above. The north burial aisle is dated 1839.
Visited by OS (A S P) 8 May 1961.

Late medieval grave-slab in St Mary's churchyard.

The old church and burial ground were listed at Category B in 1982.

The old church and burial ground were scheduled in 2000.

'Lochaber and Skye Monumental Inscriptions', pre 1855
Monumental inscription survey completed by Alastair G Beattie & Margaret H Beattie. The survey may not include inscription information after 1855 and each inscription transcribed does not give the full details that appear on the stones, abbreviations used. Some ommissions and inacuracies may be encountered. Published 1993. <1>

A watching brief in September 2005 was carried out by the Highland Council for the groundbreaking works to fit new gates and handrails. Community-led environmental improvement works at the site involved upgrading the main burial ground access. The replacement of a gate and handrail required the digging out and removal of existing foundations, and there was a possibility that archaeological remains may lie beneath the existing foundations. Very little undisturbed ground was excavated, and the works did not impact on any archaeological features. No artefacts were recovered. <2>

St. Mary's, Kilmuir, 1694. Consolidated rubble oblong of old Duirinish parish church in stone-walled burial enclosure, reminiscent of Skye's other post-Reformation parish churches of Strath and Sleat. Eighteenth century aisle and mural memorials; balustraded burial enclosure with architraved doorway of 1735 attached to west gable. Although St. Clement's Church, Rodel was the principal resting place for the Macleod chiefs, some are buried here, as are generations of MacCrimmons, hereditary pipers to the Macleods. Predominant in the graveyard is an ashlar obelisk memorial, early 18th century, with weathered inscription to 'Lord Thomas Frazer' (father of Simon, 11th Lord Lovat, who was executed on Towerhill in 1747) who died at Dunvegan while visiting his brother-in-law in 1699. In 1888 this 'lay in pieces on the ground', the kirk ruinous, overgrown with weeds and filled with junk, according to J. and E. Pennell. Its roof had caved in about 20 years earlier. Some carved late-medieval gravestones and 18th century tablestones. <3>

It was proposed that the old church and burial ground be removed from the statutory list 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. <4>

The old church and burial ground were removed from the statutory list by Historic Environment Scotland on 22/09/2016. <5>

See also:
NG24NE0001 Church

Sources/Archives (9)



Grid reference Centred NG 2549 4781 (81m by 98m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG24NE
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish DUIRINISH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

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