Scheduled Monument

Kirk o'Moss, site of St Duthac's Chapel, Moss of KillimsterSM2659

Status: Designated


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


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Ecclesiastical: chapel, Secular: shieling
Local Authority
ND 29267 56306
329267, 956306


The monument known as Kirk O'Moss consists of the remains of at least four sub-rectangular buildings, three sub-rectangular enclosures, and about eight irregular mounds. These structures are located on a green ridge which stands c. 3m higher than its surroundings and measures c. 121m by 36.5m.

One of the structures, measuring c. 9m by 5m, is identified as the chapel of St Duthac and the others may be associated buildings. This part of the structural complex may date to the Early Christian period although there is no conclusive field evidence for this. The irregular mounds have been identified as the remnants of shieling-like structures and may be of a later date.

The area to be scheduled is irregular and measures 170m NNW to SSE by 160m W to E and includes all the structural remains described above and an area around and among them where evidence relating to their construction and use may survive, indicated in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

Kirk O'Moss is of national importance as an example of an isolated group of buildings possibly representing a chapel complex of Early Christian date. It has the potential to provide evidence of Early Christian or Medieval date relating to the development of ecclesiastical centres and their subsequent abandonment.




RCAHMS (1929) Inventory for County of Caithness.

MacDonald, A. D. S. and Laing, L. (1967-68) Early Ecclesiastical Sites in Scotland: a Field Survey, part 1. Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. 100.

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 showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. 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


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Printed: 29/02/2020 13:52