Scheduled Monument

Klibreck, chapel, cross-slab and settlement SE ofSM6592

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
Supplementary Information Updated
Crosses and carved stones: cross-incised stone, Ecclesiastical: chapel; enclosure, Secular: enclosure; field system; settlement, including deserted and depopulated and townships
Local Authority
NC 59345 33924
259345, 933924


The monument consists of a deserted township, within the boundaries of which are a cross-incised standing stone and a further standing stone, together with the footings of a probable pre-Reformation chapel.

The deserted settlement is very extensive and includes examples of a number of different types of structure, possibly dating over an extended period of time. Traces of settlement stretch both E and W of the Klibreck Burn. Some structures are represented by turf-covered footings, others have substantial foundation stones remaining, and some have denuded walls remaining several courses high.

The buildings include round or oval structures, rectangular long-houses, smaller rectangular buildings, at least one kiln barn, enclosures and field boundaries in several complex groups. Such remains are difficult to assign precise dates to, but could date from between AD 1500 and the early 19th century. Klibreck was a substantial settlement, with at least ten families prior to the Clearances.

In a boggy area close to the burn are the footings of a rectangular structure, aligned E-W, measuring approximately 6.0m E-W by 5.0m N-S. It is suggested that these are the remains of a pre-Reformation chapel. Surrounding the footings are faint traces of an irregularly-shaped enclosure measuring some 19m E-W by 6m N-S at its W end and 12m N-S at its E end. Two standing stones, both of undressed schist, remain at the E end of the enclosure, flanking a possible entrance.

The northern of the stones is plain, but the southern bears a cross on its N face (facing across the possible entrance). The cross is long-shafted with its arms expanding towards the ends and the angles rounded at the armpits. The cross-incised stone measures approximately 1.16m high by 0.35m wide. The cross-slab supports the traditional identification of the remains as those of a chapel.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape, measuring a maximum of 735m E-W by a maximum of 335m N-S, as marked in red on the accompanying map. It includes the deserted settlement, the two standing stones and the chapel foundations. It excludes the above-ground elements of modern fences and gates.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as the well-preserved remains of a post-medieval settlement, centred on a probable pre-Reformation chapel and burial enclosure, suggesting that this site may also have been the focus for medieval settlement.

Study of its remains has the potential to add to our knowledge of the social and ecclesiastical structure of the Highlands in medieval and early-modern times, of medieval ecclesiastical architecture and sculpture, and of domestic life and agricultural methods in medieval and early modern Scotland.

It also has the potential to add to our understanding of the Clearances in this area of Scotland. The apparent variety of building types suggests a long period of activity on the site, adding greatly to its importance.



RCAHMS records the monument as NC 53 SE 4 and 5.


RCAHMS (1911) Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland, Edinburgh, 86, No. 248.

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: 22/04/2024 01:33