Scheduled Monument

St Ninian's Chapel,NonakilnSM5572

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
Ecclesiastical: chapel
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NH 66227 71252
266227, 871252


The chapel sits in an old burial ground on rising ground which overlooks the Cromarty Firth to the south. All that survives above ground of the building, which fell in 1714, is the intact W gable. It contains a square-headed door and an arched window above with the stump of a central mullion. The gable is 8.15m long, 0.9m thick and about 6m high. The masonry is random-coursed rubble. An intake above the door indicates the position of a loft or ceiling.

A modern low walled burial enclosure has been attached to the E side of the gable. Partly built over the site of the church, 10.5m to the E of the gable is a rectangular, high-walled burial enclosure of 18 century date. The area to be scheduled is rectangular, measuring a maximum of 23.7m E-W by 12.15m N-S, to include the buried remains of the chapel.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because, although fragmentary, it is a chapel of medieval date which is thought to have been dedicated to St Ninian, however the name Noinikil refers to the glebe of the church making the dedication to St Ninian questionable. By preserving the remains of the chapel for future study it may be possible to shed light on the origins and patronage of the chapel.

In addition the monument provides evidence and has the potential to provide further evidence through excavation and analysis which may contribute to our understanding of ecclesiastical architecture and history, toponomy, parish boundaries, burial practices and material culture during the period of its construction and use.



RCAHMS records the monument as NH 67 SE 20.


Mackinlay J M, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland, 33-34.

PSAS 1930, 'Donation to and purchase for the Museum and library', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 65, 11.

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


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Printed: 21/05/2024 02:14