Scheduled Monument

Dunstaffnage Castle ChapelSM90121

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
Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard; chapel
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Kilmore And Kilbride
NM 88084 34413
188084, 734413


The monument consists of a roofless medieval chapel, associated with, and sited on a knoll 150m WSW of, Dunstaffnage Castle, together with a burial aisle added to its E end in 1740 for the Campbells of Dunstaffnage.

The chapel dates to the second quarter of the 13th century, and measures 22.1m E-W by 8.1m N-S across walls 0.9m thick; the burial aisle measures a further 5.4m E-W. There was no structural division between nave and chancel and the chapel was wooden-roofed. The walls are of well-coursed rubble, with pink and buff sandstone dressings. There are remains of 2 doorways in the S wall and one in the N, and remains of 3 symmetrically-disposed windows in each of the N and S walls, one lighting the E end of the nave and 2 the chancel. There were originally 2 windows in the E wall. All the openings are elaborately moulded, with dog-tooth ornament. The external angles have roll-mouldings. Most of the chapel is preserved to near wallhead height, but there are gaps in the N and E walls.

The chapel was built by the owners of the castle, the MacDougalls, but ownership eventually passed from their heirs to the Campbell Earls of Argyll in 1469-70, whereafter hereditary wardenship was awarded to their kinsmen, the Campbells of Dunstaffnage. During the post-medieval period, the interior was used for burials; the only grave slabs now remaining are those in the 1740 burial aisle.

The area to be scheduled comprises the chapel and burial aisle (but excluding the ground within the walls of the burial aisle) and an area extending 10m from their walls in each direction, in which evidence may be present for burials and other activity associated with the use and construction of the chapel, as marked in red on the accompanying map.



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Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Dunstaffnage Castle & Chapel

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Related Designations

  1. Dunstaffnage CastleSM90120

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument

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: 01/12/2020 02:44