Scheduled Monument

Cill Naoimh, chapel, cross and burial ground, Kilnave, IslaySM2338

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Crosses and carved stones: cross (free-standing), Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard; chapel; monastic settlement
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
NR 28524 71518
128524, 671518


The monument consists of a medieval chapel and Early Christian cross, together with part of the burial ground in which they stand.

The chapel, which is probably of late medieval date, is roofless but otherwise almost intact, and measures 11.0m E-W by 6.1m N-S across walls 0.9m in thickness. It is built of rubble bonded in lime mortar and rows of putlog holes are visible in both gables. Internally, much original wall-plaster survives. The chapel is entered from the W through a segment-headed doorway with a draw bar socket. The footings of the altar remain, and this was lit from the S and the E by 2 round-headed windows with splayed internal jambs and stepped sills. No other windows are apparent. Local tradition holds that the chapel was burned in 1598, after the Battle of Traigh Ghruineard.

The free-standing cross is probably of 8th-century date. It is carved of a single thin slab of stone 3.35m high and 6.5cm thick, and originally measured 1.04m across the arms. The cross head has deep armpits but no ring. The E face of the cross is carved in low relief in a series of 8 panels within a 5cm plain margin. The ornament includes interlace-work, spiral-work and one panel of key ornament. Fragments have broken off the head and both arms, and the surface has laminated badly. The W face is plain. The cross has since 1984 stood in a reconstructed cist-type base, fragments of which had been excavated following the temporary removal of the cross in 1981.

The cross attests to the early ecclesiastical use of the site, although the extent of the contemporary enclosure is not known. Subsequently the area was used as a burial ground, and one late medieval graveslab of West Highland type is visible.

The area to be scheduled includes the chapel, the cross and part of the associated burial ground, almost certainly standing on part of the site of an early Christian monastic settlement. It is roughly rectangular in shape and measures approximately 30.5m E-W by approximately 27m N-S. It extends 15m S of the S wall of the chapel and 6m N of the N wall of the chapel, to the top of a bank which is likely to mark the limit of the medieval burial ground, and it extends to the inner faces of the burial ground walls to the E and W of the chapel, as defined in red on the accompanying map.



No Bibliography entries for this designation

About Scheduled Monuments

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.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

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Printed: 26/01/2021 00:01