MHG364 - Cross Slab, Cladh Chiaran, Camus nan Geall


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Type and Period (1)

  • CROSS SLAB (Early Medieval - 561 AD to 1057 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NM56SE 2 5605 6184.

(NM 5605 6184) Old Burial Ground (NAT)
OS 6"map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1902)

An ancient burial ground called Cladh Chiarain, after St Ciaran mac an t-Saeir (d. 549) who is said to be buried there. It is a small enclosure and contains a cross-inscribed stone.
M E M Donaldson 1923; W J Watson 1926.

Cladh Chiarian, a disused burial ground, marked by a turf-covered wall, overlaid by modern fence. Within it a walled enclosure has been built, probably as a private burial plot. The cross-inscribed stone and a few 18th-century grave-slabs are within the graveyard.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (N K B) 8 June 1970.

(NM 5605 6184) Cladh Chiarain (NR)
(NM 5603 6184) Cross Slab (NR)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1974)

Burial-ground, Camas nan Geall: The remains of this burial-ground comprise a ruinous outer enclosure-wall and an inner structure of lime-mortared rubble masonry. This measures 8.2m from NE to SW 5.9m transversely within walls 0.5m in thickness which stand to a uniform height of 0.9m; the entrance is in the NE wall, This structure may be ascribed to the 18th century and it is possible that the burial-ground as a whole was created at that period for the Roman Catholic members of the family of Campbell of Ardslignish. (Three 18th-century funerary monuments within the burial ground are described by the RCAHMS - see NM56SE 6 for an earlier burial-ground in the vicinity.)
A standing stone immediately to the SW of the burial-ground measures 2.30m in height and 0.90m by 0.23m at the base. The stone itself has not been shaped, and was probably erected in its present position in the Bronze Age, but subsequently the W face has been decorated with several motifs, all carved in low relief within a plain border.
RCAHMS 1980, visited 1971

The stone was included within the Category B listed graveyard in 1985.

A burial ground traditionally attributed to St Ciaran mac an t-Saeir is sited here. A standing stone within the graveyard has an early style Christian cross and other symbols incised on one face. The RCAHMS describes the surviving enclosure as a graveyard built in the 18th century for local Roman Catholics. This has been a desk assessment area.
J Wordsworth, SSSIs, Scottish Natural Heritage, 1993

Cladh Chiarain, burial ground and standing stone, Camas nan Geall, were Scheduled by Historic Scotland in 1999.

Standing-stone beside 18th-century burial-enclosure and 90m S of a chambered cairn. It is 2.3m by 0.9m by 0.23m, and the W face bears in relief a Latin cross 1.2m high, with wedge-shaped side-arms, a central crosslet and large pellets in the angles. At the top is an equal-armed cross above an animal with up-curved tail.
I Fisher 2001.

This standing stone, erected immediately to the SW of the burial ground (SMR NM56SE0011) and 80m W of the chambered cairn (SMR NM56SE0001), is in a dramatic location, facing the sea to the W but surrounded elsewhere by steep slopes. The stone is as described in 1971 (RCAHMS, 1980, 126-8). The cross and other symbols incised on the Western face are still visible.
Field Verification Project (West Lochaber) - J Robertson, 03/2004

NM 48507 64046 The ACCORD (Archaeology Community Co-production Of Research Data) Project was an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research project led by the Digital Design Studio (Glasgow School of Art), with the University of Manchester, RCAHMS and Archaeology Scotland, which worked with 10 community groups across Scotland from October 2013 to March 2015. The project aimed to co-design and co-produce 3D digital data of heritage sites that are of significance to the community groups and which they wished to record. The ACCORD team worked with the Ardnamurchan Community Archaeology Group from 8–10 August 2014. At Camas nan Geall we recorded and modelled three headstones in a graveyard and a standing stone with early medieval carvings adjacent to this graveyard, and in the nearby town a graveslab in the Kilchoan Parish Churchyard. We used the techniques Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and photogrammetry.
Archive: ADS and National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE)
Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Stuart Jeffrey, Mhairi Maxwell and Cara Jones – Glasgow School of Art
(Source: DES, Volume 16)

It was proposed that the burial ground, including the standing stone 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 part of the scheduled monument. <1>

The burial ground and standing stone were removed from the statutory list by Historic Environment Scotland on 22/09/2016. <2>

See also:
NM56SE0011 Burial Ground

Sources/Archives (8)



Grid reference Centred NM 5603 6185 (10m by 10m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM56SE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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