MHG41440 - Cladh Rivigill, burial ground & possible chapel site

Summary

No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CEMETERY (Undated)

Protected Status

Full Description

Schedule 1/2003 - HAW 11/2003

NC74NW 1 7291 4946.
Cladh Rivigill (NAT) Burial Ground (NR) OS 6" map, (1962)

Cladh Righ-Geal (Info from local informants to OS, 1873) or Cladh Rivigill (Information from a county map seen by OS surveyor, 1873). "A mound around which there is an old wall ... on a knoll. In former years it was used as a grave yard ... the measuring of Righ Geal cannot be ascertained". Name Book 1873.
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The burial ground of Cladh Rhifail (NMRS/SMR no. NC74NW1; NC 7291 4946) lies on the summit of a small, level topped natural mound, forming the highest point at the eastern end of a low, but prominent ridge. It is situated on the edge of the Naver’s floodplain, close to more steeply rising ground on the east side of the strath and has extensive views to north and south. The edge of the mound is further enhanced by walling consisting of large coursed boulders; where this survives best, along the long north and south sides, an inner and an outer face is clearly visible. There is no obvious entrance into the interior, but it is probable that it lay on the western side, close to the single elder tree, which now crowns the summit of the mound. In the interior are numerous flat slabs, some with distinct head- and foot-stones. The best preserved of these appear to lie in two parallel rows, aligned east-west across the short axis of the graveyard. Fewer stones are visible in the northern half of the burial ground, usually the less favoured area for burial. When the RCAHMS visited at the beginning of the twentieth century, they noted a few exposed slabs, but thought that they bore ‘no inscription or symbolical markings’ (1911, 88, no. 257). However, as with the slabs at Skail (see below), raised quartz veins give these slabs a very distinct appearance.

The OS surveyors who compiled the First edition map were told that the graveyard was called Cladh Righ-Geal, although the map itself was annotated Cladh Rivigill. The first form of the name suggests its derivation should be ‘the graveyard of the white king’; it is perhaps more likely that it incorporates two ON elements, possibly rif, a rib or ridge, and gill, a deep ravine with a stream at the bottom (Waugh 2000, 19). In the Name Book, it is described as "A mound around which there is an old wall ... on a knoll. In former years it was used as a grave yard ... the measuring of Righ Geal cannot be ascertained" (Sutherland (1873), Book 20, 255). Horsburgh (1870, 274) states "On mentioning the Red Priest stone [NMRS/SMR no. NC74NW2] I should have stated that not very far from it there is a knoll, surrounded by a dyke called Croc-an-sagairt (Hillock of the Priest) on which are the remains of his church. The old church of Farr [NMRS/SMR no. NC76SW11] is said by the people to have been built with stones carried away from this place". The stone was apparently carried ‘in wicker baskets on the shoulders of men and women, from the ruined chapel at Skaill’, a task viewed as an act of veneration by those who undertook it (?, quoted in Johnston 2001, 10). Following his discussion of the ‘Cnockan’, Scott mentions ‘A thread of water from a spring called ‘Alltan an t-Sagairt’, but does not locate it (1909, 273). Although most commentators place 'Cnoc-an-t-sagairt' immediately west of Skail (e.g. OPS, 708), the topographical description is rather muddled and it is possible that Horsburgh's description, which sounds very like that in the Name Book (1873), refers to Cladh Rivigill. Few of the traditions surrounding Cladh Rivigill seem to have survived into the twentieth century (information given by OS to NMRS).
Informarion supplied by J Hooper : 05/12/02
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Cladh Rivigill. A disused graveyard. The few flat slabs that are exposed bear no inscription or symbolical markings.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

Horsburgh (1870) states "On mentioning the Red Priest stone (NC74NW 2) I should have stated that not very far from it there is a knoll, surrounded by a dyke called Croc-an-sagairt (Hillock of the Priest) on which are the remains of his church. (ie. The Red Priest =? St. Maelrubha d.722). The old church of Farr (NC76SW 11) is said by the people to have been built with stones carried away from this place". OPS (1855) places 'Cnoc-an-tsagairt' immediately west of NC74NW 2 but topographical description is rather muddled, and Horsburgh's description sounds very like ONB (1873).
Orig Paroch Scot 1855; J Horsburgh 1870; Visible on RAF air photographs 106G/Scot/UK/70: 3365-6; flown 9 May 1946.

A small disused burial ground situated on summit of a knoll, and measuring about 20m by 10m within a drystone wall. A few small stones and two slabs embedded in ground may mark graves. No associated local tradition. Visited by OS (J L D) 6 May 1960.

Cladh Rivigill (Name unconfirmed), a disused graveyard as described by previous OS surveyor. The name Cron-an-sagairt (presumably Cnoc an t'Sagairt), to which Horsburgh (1870) refers, is not known locally. Visited by OS (J B) 15 January 1979.

The whole area was photographed, sketched and described and graveslabs exposed.
Information supplied by NOSAS, 04/11/01
See assoc. docs. File.
J Aitken : 11/02/02.


Cladh Rivigill (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG17763.


Cladh Rivigill (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG17764.


Cladh Rivigill (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG17765.


Cladh Rivigill (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG17766.


Cladh Rivigill (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG17767.


Name Book (County), Object Name Books of the Ordnance Survey, Book No. 20, 255 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG3351.


OPS, 1855, Origines parochiales Scotiae: the antiquities ecclesiastical and territorial of the parishes of Scotland, 708; map (Text/Publication/Monograph). SHG342.


Horsburgh, J, 1870, 'Notes of cromlechs, duns, hut-circles, chambered cairns, and other remains, in the County of Sutherland', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 7, 1866-8, pp 271-9, 274 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1182.


RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland, 88, No. 257 (Text/Report). SHG2657.

Sources/Archives (9)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NC 7291 4946 (200m by 200m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC74NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish FARR

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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