MHG41439 - St. Maelrubha's, Gairloch


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CEMETERY (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

The church of Gairloch was originally dedicated to St. Maelrubha, and perhaps erected by him in seventh century; it stood near centre of burial-ground at Gairloch (NG 8063 7572). There are no remains whatever of it. It was a common kirk of Canons of Ross.
Little is known of church history of Gairloch before Reformation. There was a church here before 1628 which was probably rebuilt in middle or latter part of seventeenth century, most likely on same site as original church. A new church is said to have been built in 1751 which was thatched, and had fallen into ruin by 1791, when present church was built (NG 8071 7559).
J H Dixon 1886. <1>

The parishes of the Diocese of Ross, constituted 1124, include parish of Gairloch.
N Macrae 1923. <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 inacuraciesmay be encountered. First published 1987, reprinted 1991, 1996 & 1997, with corrections. <3>

Long sub rectangular graveyard passing up the hill, with top level overlooking the beach. Still some relatively recent burials within it. Oldest identified inscription possibly late C17. The buiilding desc below and suggested as the church is at GR 180698875702. Appears to be double celled with doorway on S side. Has subsequently been altered, extended for use as later burial enclosure. In the upper part of the cemetetry there is another series of once substantial stone enclosures, at least one of which is now marked as "dangerous" as walls are coming apart.
NB The implications of thie topography of this site needs to be reviewed, this would make an extremely fine defensive site or lookout. Was the earlier graveyard once smaller and encroaches on something else ?
Another modern extension on coast side outwith the main burial enclosure. <4>

Tree damage in the storms of January 2005, photos by C Dagg. <5>

Visited during the Highland Kirkyards project, run by Highland Buildings Preservation Trust. A large burial ground on the outskirts of Gairloch containing a structure which may incorporate an earlier church and a large grouping of burial enclosures. The gravestones within this ground face east. The ground is uneven and there are varied gravestones, some flat slabs underfoot, uprights and table tops. The ground is particularly high at the west end and is built on hilly dunes above the beach. <6><7>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred NG 8066 7572 (112m by 130m) Surveyed
Map sheet NG87NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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