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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NC 58051 7252
258051, 907252


Rubbled walled burial ground. Various 18th, 19th and 20th

century tombs and memorials, including memorials to William

Gray (1749) and to the Mackay family. William Gray; dated

1749, tomb stone small flanking fluted pilasters and

symbols of mortality, coffin, crossed bones and bell, all

mounted in later rubble plinth, possibly section of former

church wall. Mackay Memorial, erected circa 1803. square

panelled ashlar plinth with inscriptions in English and Gaelic.

Moulded cope, stepped apex with urn finial. Low stepped base

supporting cast-iron spearhead railing. Matheson Memorial.

Erected 1880. Imposing blue/grey marble classical loggia,

supported by polished granite plinth to 6 Corinthian columns

with poppy seed heads decorating capitals. Round-arched centre

bays east and west with decorated spandrels; centre ribbed leaded

dome; moulded entablature surmounted by 8 urn finials with

stylised flames; similarly detailed apex finial to dome.

Outer bays linked by low retaining wall decorated with

swags. Square white marble pedestal (signed A. Viegl,

Menton) stands under dome with inset medallion relief

depicting Sir James Matheson of Achany, 1796-1878; pedestal

surmounted by white marble cross with dove and floral


Statement of Special Interest

Site of former parish church. For Matheson Memorial see

separate entry. Rev John Mackay and son Thomas, Ministers

of Lairg from 1914 to 1803.

Also latter's sons Hugh (killed at Assaye 1803) and


(1795), largely embodied in Byron's DON JUAN.

Sir James Matheson was born at West Shinness, by Lairg.

He was one of the founder members of the firm of Jardine

Matheson, and worked in Calcutta Canton and Macao.

He bought Achany in 1840, also estates in Lewis

(Hebrides), and was MP for Ashburton, Devon, from 1842.

The poppy seed head detailing on the memorial alludes to

the Far Eastern opium trade, on which the Jardine

Matheson success was fonded.





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.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to LAIRG BURIAL GROUND WITH MATHESON MEMORIAL

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 26/06/2022 22:03