Scheduled Monument

Riasg Buidhe,deserted settlement,chapel and burial groundSM5974

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard; chapel, Secular: settlement, including deserted and depopulated and townships
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Colonsay And Oronsay
NR 40615 95486
140615, 695486


The monument comprises the remains of a nineteenth-century fishing settlement and the site of an Early Christian chapel and burial ground.

The chapel and burial ground site partly occupies the summit of a low rocky ridge which runs E-W. The vestiges of a transverse wall near the E end may represent one of the boundaries of the cemetery, although there are no identifiable remains of a chapel. Boulders appear to mark the position of burials, and near the crest of the ridge is a hollow basin cut from a rock outcrop. There are the remains of a well in the gully immediately to the S of the burial ground. The site has produced two Early Christan carved stones: a cruciform slab (now at Colonsay House), carved with a Latin cross, human head and phallic motif, probably of seventh or eighth century AD date; and a slab with Latin cross, now in the National Museum.

The fishing settlement includes a continuous range which incorporates the remains of eight single-storeyed domestic and agricultural units. The dwellings at the W end of the range have projecting chimneyed fireplaces of secondary construction and some retain traces of high- level cruck-slots. Although there are no identifiable remains earlier than the later eighteenth or nineteenth centuries, it is not unlikely that this site may have been the focus for earlier settlement. It was abandoned in 1918.

The area to be scheduled measures 170m from SW to NE by up to 110m transversely, to include the chapel, burial ground, fishing settlement and an area around in which associated remains are likely to survive, as marked in red on the attached map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is the site of a chapel and burial ground which has the potential to provide information about the organisation and development of the early church in Scotland, as well as specific evidence for architecture, burial rites and information about the contemporary population. The fishing village is a good example of a nineteenth century vernacular architecture, and associated archaeological deposits are likely to have the potential to augment our knowledge of its use and development.



RCAHMS records the monument as NR49NW 8.

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 13:55