MHG42215 - Cross Slab - St. Ninian's Chapel, Temple


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Supposed Site of (NAT) Knights Templars' Chapel (NR)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 1st ed., (1871)

Supposed Site of (NAT) St Ninian's Chapel (NR)
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

The Chapel of St Ninian, who died c. 432, was also known as "An Teampull" - the Temple - a name denoting the existence of an early stone church. A crucifix of St Drostan was preserved in the chapel.
A Celtic cross-slab was removed from this site, first to Corrimony House (NH 376 303) and then to the modern St Ninian's Chapel at NH 4330. It measures 1'6" x 1'.
The chapel was in use at least until August 1556. The ruins existed in 1763, and, in 1835, there was still a public burial ground at "Cill Santninian".
Near the chapel were a rag well (possibly that shown at NH 529 300 on
OS 1st edition 6"map) and two ash trees.
The trees were still in existence in 1882, and were fully 12' in circumference. They also were superstitiously regarded. There is now no trace of the chapel.
W D Simpson 1935; W J Watson 1926; J Mackintosh 1888; ISSFC 1893; NSA 1845 (Rev J D Smith 1835); W MacKay 1893; Information from W Lorimer 1763; Name Book 1871.

The crucifix of St Drostan was enshrined within the Temple, or St Ninian's Chapel (now in wall of Corrimory House).
W Mackay 1893

At St Ninian's site in Glenurquhart we have the ancient terms Cill an Trinnian (St Ninian's Church) and an Teampull- the latter word pointing to the existence of an early stone church, while to complete the evidence there is also a slab incised with a Celtic cross of primitive design.
W D Simpson 1935

Temple, Urquhart, Inverness-shire, cross-slab
Measurements: H 0.38m, W 0.27m
Stone type: sandstone
Place of discovery: NH 5295 3004
Present location: set into the altar frontal in the modern St Ninian’s Chapel at Temple.
Evidence for discovery: found on the site of the early church of St Ninian on the north side of Urquhart Bay and taken to Corrimony House, where it was mounted within a stone panel on the exterior wall of the house sometime before 1943 when it was photographed by RCAHMS. The house burnt down in 1951, and the panel was taken back to Temple to the modern St Ninian’s Chapel.
Present condition: some damage to the base of the slab, which has removed the tip of the shaft, but otherwise the carving is in good condition.
This small slab is incised with an outline cross, the shaft of which tapers at the base. There are small hollowed armpits.
Date: seventh or eighth century.
Compiled by A Ritchie 2017

See link below to HES Canmore record for photographs of the cross slab.

Sources/Archives (11)



Grid reference Centred NH 5293 3001 (10m by 10m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH53SW
Geographical Area INVERNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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