MHG31370 - Burial Ground - St. Donan's Chapel and Burial Ground, Kildonnan, Eigg


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

See also:
NM48NE0019 Church (MHG5687)
NM48NE0036 Cross/Cross, slabs/Cross, shaft (MHG25041, MHG44972)
J Aitken : 11/12/02

(NM 4884 8538) Ruins of Chapel (NR) (Burial Ground)
OS 6" map (1903)
'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.
J Aitken : 20/12/02
St Donan's Church (Kildonnan) (MHG5687) is said to have been erected by John Moydartach, Captain of Clanranald in the 16th c., and is certainly mentioned by Monro in 1549. Now in ruins, the church is utilised as a burial ground, and some of the modern graves are provided with cover slabs and headstones removed from earlier interments. The building was 51' E-W by 18' within walls over 3' thick.
Casts of 4 cross-slabs (MHG44872) and a late 14th century cross shaft (MHG25041) at St Donan's are in the NMAS together with that of parts of a head and shaft of another cross featuring a hunting scene.
RCAHMS 1928, visited 1925; OPS 1854; D Monro 1549; M Martin 1934; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1933; 1934

St Donnan's Church (MHG5687) is roofless, and the E gable has fallen to below the wall head. The church measures 15.4m E-W by 5.4m within a wall 0.9m thick. Almost centrally placed inside, is a horizontal grave slab 2.0m E-W by 0.5m N-S, bearing traces of an incised pattern, which is probably a cross slab. The stone has been broken, and is repaired with recent mortar. At its W end stands an upright slab 0.9m high by 0.4m broad bearing an incised cross set saltire-wise within an incised circle on its E face.
The 14th century cross-shaft (MHG25041) is mounted on a modern base on a rise to the S of the church, and the head and part of the shaft of another with similar decoration lies against it.
The four cross slabs are preserved in the porch of Galmisdale House (MHG42120). The burial ground is extended and still in use.
Visited by OS (AA) 8 May 1972

Church and burial ground at NM 4885 8536. Casts of cross and cross-slabs in RMS. Cross-shaft at NM 4887 8533 (MHG25041).

The area south, east and west of the chapel ruin was subject to geophysical and topographic surveys by the University of Birmingham in 2006 as part of a project aimed at locating the possible site of the monastery founded by St Donan. Although several resistance anomalies were detected the results were not conclusive and it was considered that only excavation would reveal their true nature. <1>

Sources/Archives (8)



Grid reference Centred NM 4887 8531 (200m by 200m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM48NE
Civil Parish SMALL ISLES
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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