MHG31432 - Kilmuir Easter Parish Church (Church of Scotland) & Burial Ground


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Type and Period (1)

  • CEMETERY (Medieval to 21st Century - 1058 AD to 2100 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NH77SE 3 7575 7319.

(NH 7575 7319) Church on site of St Mary's Chapel (NR)
OS 6" map, (1959)

(As above, also:-) Belfry (NR)
OS 25" map, Ross-shire, (1907)

Kilmuir Church was built in 1798. Attached to the east end is an older structure with a round tower. This is probably part of the earlier Church of St Mary.
The tower, which was being used as a belfry in 1838, bears the inscription 'Beigit 1616' but MacDonald, Polson and Brown (1931) suggest that the lower portion is of much earlier date.
NSA (written by Rev C R Mathison - 1838) 1845; Name Book 1873; D MacDonald, A Polson and J Brown 1931.

Kilmuir Church is as described by Mathison and is still in use.
The older structure at the E end is now used as a burial vault of the Earls of Cromartie. Measuring 6.9m x 6.1m, it is constructed of roughly coursed masonry with rubble infilling recently repointed, with an entrance in the S. wall, closed by a metal-studded wooden door. The lower part of the circular tower attached to the east end is similar in construction, but the top section, bearing the inscription 'Beigit 1616', is of coursed masonry of finer workmanship, and as suggested by MacDonald, Polson and J Brown (1931) appears to be later. There is no local knowledge concerning the age of the vault.
Revised at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (N K B) 24 March 1966.

A comprehensive monumental inscription survey has been completed by the 'Highland Family History Society'. This survey does not include photos of each stone. Please contact Chairperson, John Durham for copies of the report.
J Aitken : 18/12/02

Graveyard visited during the Highland Kirkyards project, run by Highland Buildings Preservation Trust. Rural church in use within multi-period graveyard.
The graveyard has been extended at least twice. The older part of the graveyard surrounds the church with a modern extension to the north, (20th century graves), still in use. Immediately around the church are the oldest gravestones and a low, turf covered wall, (now retaining), surrounds it. Late 19th and early 20th century stones are then found around the outside of this wall, on lower ground, then a higher wall to the north separates this from the modern 20th century section which is on much higher ground.
There are burials underfoot in the older part, and flat graveslabs line the modern path to the south of the church. The gravestones in the oldest part are orientated east and there are many small uprights from the first half of the 19th century which now only just poke out of the ground. <1><2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 7577 7319 (97m by 106m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH77SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

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