MHG7747 - Former church of Londubh, Poolewe, Gairloch


The former church of Londubh at Poolewe in the parish of Gairloch.

Type and Period (1)

  • CHURCH (Pictish to 19th Century - 300 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Ruined church lies towards the NE edge of a large circular graveyard (as depicted on 1st ed OS). See sketch plan of structures. NE wall that is the earliest (possibly clay bonded) appears to have double internal structure, although too ivy clad to ee form. The W wall has largely collapsed and there is a strong grass covered mound outside. There may have been doorway in this portion as moulded piece may contain hole for hinge/bracket. Another structure has been built on the E side, but is open on the S, other more modern grave enclosures have been built to the E of these, but they are badly collapsed. There are also the remains of railings that may mark another. One still survives attached to the S extremity of the church building. None of the dated stones (see below) are visible, the building is heavily ivy grown, so no obvious phasing, rowan trees, both older and later self seeded, are close to, or within these structures causing damage. The interor of the chapel is used for dumping grass cuttings and old flowers, old fencing & other rubbish & looks a mess.
The stone that is described as the "font" is probably that described to HAW by local resident as the "wart" stone. Apparently dipping the afflicted area into water in the stone causes a cure. It should be noted that on day of visit, in spite of prolonged dry spell there was still water in the stone.

See also:
NG88SE0055 Graveyard
NG88SE0016 Pictish Stone
J Aitken : 11/12/02
NG88SE 10 8603 8096.
Burial Ground (NAT) OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1906)

The church or chapel of Inverewe stood in what is still called the Inverewe churchyard, perhaps more generally known as Londubh burial-ground.
The church seems to have been forty feet long and eighteen feet wide and was not oriented. The original wall forming NE side of church is still standing. About 1689 church was partly pulled down, and two present roofless apartments or chapels were constructed out of its remains for family burial-places. The church does not possess any architectural features. There is a Jacobean moulding round door of one of burial-places, in one of which is a loose stone inscribed 'K M K 1678'. The same date may have been inscribed on lintel of principal burial-place. The stone basin of font lies loose in burial-ground near; a stone now placed over a grave is moulded along one edge, and may possibly have formed part of the altar.
The church was purchased by Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie in C17. It seems likely he built this little church; some say he only restored an older church; in either case this may have been site of a pre-Reformation church, and even of a monastic institution, for there are many traces of buildings in neighbourhood.
It is stated that the 'old chapel of Inverewe seems to belong to the seventeenth century, judging from the appearance of the ruins'.
J H Dixon 1886.

The remains of church, measuring 12.4 m long, 5.1 m wide,x 1.7 m high, with stone walls 0.9 m thick, are as described above. The moulded jambs of entrance are in SE. Further family burial chambers have been built against NE wall. No trace of font or portion of the altar remains, and stone marked "K M K 1678" now stands upright in burial ground about 8m SW of church. The burial ground is still in use.
Visited by OS (N K B) 12 March 1965.

In 1992 a Pictish symbol stone (NG88SE0016) was identified on a recumbent slab in the old churchyard of Inverewe. It bears a weathered crescent and V-rod symbol at one end, decorated with a curvilinear design and arrangements of dots.
Information received from J Small, Historic Scotland, 1 July 1993.
Class I symbol stone bearing a crescent and V-rod.
A.Mack 1997 p.118

Sources/Archives (8)



Grid reference Centred NG 8604 8097 (25m by 25m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG88SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

Finds (1)

  • FONT (Undated)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.