MHG31383 - Londubh, graveyard


The burial ground of the former church of Londubh, Gairloch.

Type and Period (1)

  • CEMETERY (Pictish to 19th Century - 300 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NG88SE 10 8603 8096.
Burial Ground (NAT) OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1906)

The church or chapel of Inverewe stood in what is still called Inverewe churchyard, perhaps more generally known as Londubh burial-ground.
The church seems to have been 40 feet long and 18 feet wide and was not oriented. The original wall forming NE side of church is still standing. About 1689 church was partly pulled down, and two present roofless apartments or chapels were constructed out of its remains for family burial-places. . The stone basin of the font lies loose in the burial-ground near; a stone now placed over a grave is moulded along one edge, and may possibly have formed part of the altar.
The church was purchased by Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie in C17. It seems likely he built this little church; some say he only restored an older church; in either case this may have been the site of a pre-Reformation church, and even of a monastic institution, for there are many traces of buildings in the neighbourhood.
It is stated that 'old chapel of Inverewe seems to belong to the seventeenth century, judging from the appearance of the ruins'.
J H Dixon 1886. <1>

The remains of the church, measuring 12.4 m long, 5.1 m wide,x 1.7 m high, with stone walls 0.9 m thick, are as described above. The moulded jambs of entrance are in SE. Further family burial chambers have been built against NE wall. No trace of the font or portion of altar remains, and stone marked "K M K 1678" now stands upright in burial ground about 8m SW of the church. The burial ground is still in use.
Visited by OS (N K B) 12 March 1965.

In 1992 a Pictish symbol stone was identified on a recumbent slab in old churchyard of Inverewe. It bears a weathered crescent and V-rod symbol at one end, decorated with a curvilinear design and arrangements of dots.
Info received from J Small, Historic Scotland, 1 July 1993.
Class I symbol stone bearing a crescent and V-rod.
A.Mack 1997 p.118 <2>

'Wester Ross 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. First published 1987, reprinted 1991, 1996 & 1997, with corrections. <3>

Large circular graveyard on high ground overlooking the beach. The walls are largely of large rounded pebbles, although now heavily mortared. A row of trees have been planted just within the circuit and this is causing damage to the wall structures. The remains of the church site lies towards NE segment of the churchyard, with a number of later burial enclosures built on its E S side. The Pictish stone lies to the NW of the chapel as does the "wart stone", the Pictish stone is fenced to prevent damage. There is a later enclosure built off the N side of the graveyard, cutting the wall, but also accessed from outside for the family from Inverewe. The northern portion of the gravyard contains the oldest surviving marked burials, mostly 19th-20th century. The interesting feature is that extremely large numbers of the burials are covered by crudely carved stone slabs (such as the symbol stone), possibly for security. Many of these are now becoming turf covered. Some earlier slabs are now resting against the walls of the graveyard, or the church.
The southern portion of the burial ground is used for more modern burials, It is reported to be very wet, described by locals as "an old pool" in earlier times. 3 marked naval graves (Loch Ewe) and an RAF wartime resident. 8/2003

Collapse of sections of churchyard wall during storms January 2005, photos by C Dagg - 1/2005. <4>

A watching brief during the excavation of trenches for the installation of a new drainage system in the churchyard was carried out by Highland Archaeology Services in 2006. No archaeological layers were exposed, no archaeological finds were recovered and no human remains were encountered. <5>

Historic burial ground in west coast village of Poolewe with remains of redundant chapel. The burial ground is still in use and is circular in shape. The northern area appears to be the oldest part: the ground here is uneven, the chapel is situated here and there are flat slabs as well as uprights. To the south and east are the more recent graves – uprights, 20th/21st century and the ground here is flatter. All the stones face east. The burial ground contains a Pictish stone. Visited during the Highland Kirkyards project, run by Highland Buildings Preservation Trust. <6> <7>

Sources/Archives (13)



Grid reference Centred NG 86029 80956 (66m by 63m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG88SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

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