Scheduled Monument

Keil in Morvern,cross 50m S of Keil Church,LochalineSM256

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

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
Supplementary Information Updated
Crosses and carved stones: cross (free-standing)
Local Authority
NM 67092 45122
167092, 745122


The monument consists of a free-standing late-medieval disc-headed cross, set into a socket stone, standing 50m S of the 19th-century Keil Church. The cross stands approximately 50m due E of the remains of the medieval church, and approximately 20m E of the present boundary wall of the burial ground. It faces N and S, although originally it is likely to have faced E and W, suggesting it and its socket stone have been re-erected at some time in its history. Its location outwith the burial ground is not necessarily significant, as similar crosses survive from contexts both within and outwith burial grounds. The cross measures 2.45m high, 0.28m wide by 0.14m thick at the base of the shaft, and 0.22 m wide by 0.11m thick at the neck. The arms splay outwards in profile and their ends are keeled. The disc head on both sides is filled with plait-work surrounding a small boss, with sprays of foliage in each arm. The S face of the shaft is carved with a double scroll of foliage, terminating at the base in a pair of opposed dragons' heads. The N face bears a single scroll of foliage (springing at the base from a single dragon's head) which divides into a double scroll about two-thirds of the way up. The cross appears to be of the Iona school, and can be dated to the 14th-15th centuries. It bears a strong resemblance to 3 crosses on Islay (those at Kildalton, Keills and Finlaggan) and may even be from the same workshop. The socket stone is rectangular and itself rests on the ground. It has been suggested that the burial ground may originally have extended as far as the site of the cross, but there are no visible traces of this. The area to be scheduled is a circle 5m in diameter, centred on the cross, as shown in red on the accompanying map. It includes the cross and its base stone, together with an area which may contain evidence for the date and means of the cross's erection on this site, and of the extent of the medieval burial ground.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a complete late medieval cross of West Highland style' one of only about 10 complete examples to survive 'which may stand on or very close to its original site. Study of it and archaeological investigation of the surrounding area has the potential to add to our understanding of social and ecclesiastical organisation and the organisation of the sculpture profession in late medieval Scotland, also to the significance of the siting of such crosses and potentially to our understanding of medieval burial practices.




RCAHMS: Inventory of Monuments in Argyll, Vol. 3 (Mull, Coll, Tiree and North Argyll), 130 and plate 21.

Steer, K, and Bannerman, J: Late Medieval Monumental Sculpture of the West Highlands, passim, but especially p37.

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

Find out more about scheduling 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 Keil in Morvern,cross 50m S of Keil Church,Lochaline

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 29/11/2021 11:58