The monument comprises the remains of Inchmahome Priory, founded c. 1238 by Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith for a small community of Augustinian Canons. Following the Reformation, the Priory was secularised and, in 1604 and 1606, the estates granted to the Erskine family as a Lordship for the 2nd Earl of Mar. The island was acquired by the Marquis of Montrose towards the end of the 17th century and the Priory placed in state care in 1926.
The upstanding remains consist of the church, cloister, chapter house, most of the E range and fragments of the S and W ranges. Much of the church is still standing. The processional doorway at the centre of the ornate W front leads into the nave where an arcade of four arches opened into a N aisle. A bell tower is slotted into the W bay. The E wall of the choir shows a fine arched window with five lancets which once lit the high altar.
The cloister buildings in their present form appear to be considerably later than the main body of the church, possibly dating to the 15th century. These presumably replaced an earlier group of buildings, some foundations of which have been discovered around the walls of the refectory. The surviving cloister walls of the E and W ranges are unusual in that these were once wholly or partly absorbed within the body of the ranges instead of being built as lean-to pentices.
The E range is the most complete, incorporating the canons' dormitory along much of the upper floor with the night stair at the N end and the remains of the day stair at the SE corner of the cloister. The ground floor was occupied by the calefactory and reredorter. The chapter house, still roofed, incorporates lofty gables which date from its transformation into a mausoleum for the post-Reformation Earls of Mentieth.
It now contains a number of effigies and gravestones, including a double effigy of Walter Stewart (d.c. 1295) and of his Countess, Mary. Little remains of the S range, which once housed the Refectory, and the W range is similarly poorly represented. The ground floor of the latter possibly contained the cellarer's stores while the upper may have housed the Prior's Lodging.
The area to be scheduled corresponds to the island of Inchmahome, bounded by the shoreline at normal winter water levels, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.
RCAHMS records the monument as NN 50 SE 4.
Richardson, J S, 1947, Inchmahome Priory, Perthshire, Edinburgh.
RCAHMS 1979, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Stirling District, Central Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no 7 Edinburgh, 33, no. 302.
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Printed: 25/09/2020 08:56