MHG45522 - Possible prehistoric burial - St Ninian's cemetery, Navidale


A possibly prehistoric burial found within the cemetery of the former St Ninian's chapel, Navidale.

Type and Period (1)

  • BURIAL (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A possibly prehistoric burial found within the cemetery of the former St Ninian's chapel, Navidale.

The site of St. Ninian's Chapel of which no trace now remains (OS {W D J}). It is said to have had a sanctuary (Mackay 1894) and to have been burned by MacKays in 1556.
This site is presumably source of 'named' element in name 'Navidale' the implication of which is that Norse found a 'nemed' or sacred place here and named the 'dale' after it (Watson 1926). This pre-Norse foundation would appear to be confirmed by the finding of a Class 1 symbol stone in the burial ground, which is still in use and in which burnt stones are occasionally found during grave-digging.
Within the modern, hexagonal graveyard, which may preserve the outline of an earlier enclosure, is a roughly made oval, mounded area, covering greater part of interior and merging with walls on the NW & SE (Macdonald and Laing 1973). St. Ninian's Well lies nearby,on a pasture stretch on shore but could not be located in 1960 (OS {W D J}).
The symbol stone, (found 1968) now in Dunrobin Museum No 25, is an un dressed rectangular slab, of local red sandstone, measuring 3ft 2ins by 1ft 6ins, and bearing, incised, a 'cauldron' symbol and a possible unfinished 'Pictish elephant'. This, together with the fact that the stone shows tooling towards the base, suggests that it is an unfinished work, produced near its findspot (Macdonald and Laing 1973).
Metric measurement - 0.94m x 0.43m x 0.08m thick.
R Gordon 1813; J Mackay 1894; A B Scott 1918; W J Watson 1926; A D S Macdonald and L R Laing 1973; Visited by OS (W D J) 26 May 1960.

Within the graveyard was found a burial consisting of human bones, a flint implement and part of a palmated antler of one of the larger, extinct deer. <1>

GIS spatial data based on modern OS MasterMap. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 0419 1615 (10m by 10m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND01NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish KILDONAN

Finds (2)

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (0)

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