MHG695 - St. Modan's Chapel, Freswick


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Type and Period (1)

  • CHAPEL (Early Medieval to 19th Century - 561 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Remains of Mausoleum (NAT) on site of (NAT) Chapel (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

c1670 Sir William Sinclair erected on site of a chapel a mausoleum which has been in decay since 19th century. A vault beneath this is said to have been associated with old chapel, and human bones have been found in area of what was presumably churchyard.
The saint to whom chapel was dedicated is not known (Watson 1926) but, as Beaton gives alternative names Moden, Maddon or Medon, and says that chapel was scene of 'superstitous rites' on Candlemas Day (2nd February), it seems possible that saint in question might be Modan whose day was February 4th.
D Beaton 1909; W J Watson 1926; J Mowat 1931; Name Book 1872.

The mausoleum, now unroofed, and oriented E-W measures 7.4 by 4.7m internally with walls 0.9m thick. Entrance is in E wall; there are two circular windows in S, and in W wall there is what looks like a fireplace. The vault below is still intact though inaccessible (info from Mr Gulloch, Freswick Mains, Canisbay). The area around mausoleum, ploughed since 1929, revealed no trace of a graveyard. No further info could be obtained about former chapel or its dedication.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (R D) 10 September 1965.

The mausoleum is as described and illustrated by previous field investigator. The dedication of former chapel to Modan was known at nearby Freswick House.
Visited by OS (J B) 21 July 1982.

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 3773 6712 (40m by 40m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND36NE
Civil Parish CANISBAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

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