Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NG 80547 76042
180547, 876042


old parish kirkyard of pre-reformation origin,containing roofless l-planrubble block comprising two adjoining aisles,the larger of which is said to be the early 17th century mackenzie laird's chapel (presumably burial aisle) (the present church building,which dates from 1791,lies outwith the kirkyard.);also contains extensive series of headstones,and the burial places of uilleam ros (william ross) the gaelic bard,and of john mackenzie,author of sar obair nam bard gaidhealach (the beauties of gaelic poetry),and other figures of note.set in a wooded large hollow and enclosed by a plain stone dyke,entrance at S end of E wall,pair wrought-iron gates.interpretation of the l-plan block is probably as follows:the larger aisle is likely to be the 'chapel' (dixon,101) built by alasdair breac,5th laird of gairloch (d.1638) near the church of gairloch (dixon,43;69) in which his father,john roy,was buried in is rectangular-plan,completely plain but for a weathered armorial panel (see notes) and a chamfered doorway off-centre on the s flank,consistent with its supposed early 17th century date;the N end wall appears to be thinner than the other three,and as the structure is orientated E-W,it is possibly part of the medieval church,reduced in length and converted as a chapel/aisle,or alternatively,set on the founds of the old church.the second aisle adjoins the north wall of the first-which it post-dates at its E end;it has ashlar quoins at its NE angle,and a chamfered doorway on its E appears to be of perhaps mid-18th century date,or earlier.other aisles/enclosures,of 19th century date,lie to the north in ground annexed to the kirkyard last century;stones of earlier date lie closer to the l-plan block,to its S;some of these are without inscriptions,a couple are decoratively carved.besides ross (1762-c1790),an outstanding gaelic poet,famous especially for his love poetry,and mackenzie (1806-1848),both mentioned above,others buried here include john hay,one of the hay family associated with the nearby ironworks established by sir george hay in the 1620's;also the mackay family of hereditary pipers to the lairds of gairloch and composers of piobaireachd,among whom 'am piobaire dall' (the blind piper,john mackay)(1656-1754)(dixon,177; mackenzie,94),was the most distinguished of the line,credited with 30 compositions,and a noted bard also.another bard,alexander campbell (1767-1843) is buried is uncertain whether or not calum a'ghlinne (-c1764)(malcolm maclean),another native of the parish,author of 'mo chailin donn og',lies buried here also.

Statement of Special Interest

superseded by modern burialground was dedicated to st maelrubha (most of whose dedicated sites lie to the N and W of the great glen towill,saints of scotland,1978,pp94-7).dixon states (p69) that the churchyard dykes were erected in 1727 also that in 1751 a new church is said to have been built,it,in turn,being replaced by the present church of 1971.the armorial stone set into the S wall of the aisle merits notice;it has a latin inscription (read by dixon (p101)as 'timor domini est initium sapientiae')and the initials 'a/mk'(? for alasdair breac) all carved in high relief;it also bears a date (1633/81),but incised,and evidently of later date than the inscription;the long tail of the '6',however,suggests a comparitively early date.but it is unknown whether or not this was cut to reproduce a date which was once there,no longer evident.a centre panel bears the 'cabar feidh'(stags antlers),badge of the mackenzies,suggesting that this structure was indeed built as a burial aisle for the lairds of gairloch.alasdair breac died in 1638 'and was buried in the chapel he had erected in gairloch churchyard'(dixon,532);the date is likely to have been cut at a relatively early period at the request,presumably of the family,rather than by a victorian antiquarian,as dixon puzzled over this inconsistency too.



j h dixon,gairloch and guide to loch maree,1886 (repub 1974),passim;john mackenzie,the beauties of gaelic poetry,1841,(repub 1904);ed.thomson,companion to gaelic scotland,1983,pp175;252.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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Printed: 02/12/2023 18:41