Scheduled Monument

St Mary's Chapel, WyreSM90317

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard; chapel
Local Authority
Orkney Islands
Rousay And Egilsay
HY 44294 26284
344294, 1026284


The monument comprises a chapel of medieval date together with its burial ground. It is in the care of the Secretary of State for Scotland and is being re-scheduled to clarify the extent of the protected area.

The monument lies on the NW side of the island of Wyre, at around 20m OD. It comprises a roofless chapel of late 12th-century date, measuring about 12m WSW-ENE by about 5m transversely. The chapel was partially restored in the late 19th or early 20th century and consists of a rectangular nave separated from a square-ended chancel by a rounded arch. The W door had a rounded head. Traces of original plaster are visible in both the nave and the chancel.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and the walled burial ground surrounding it, within which related material may be expected to be found. It is quadrangular and defined by the outer face of the graveyard wall, having maximum dimensions of 35m from its northernmost point to its southernmost point and 32m from its easternmost point to its westernmost point, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a fine example of a small 12th-century chapel which contributes to our understanding of medieval ecclesiastical architecture and religious life. Its significance is enhanced by its close geographical association with Cobbie Row's Castle. The importance of the site is reflected in it being chosen as a Property in Care.



RCAHMS records the monument as HY 42 NW 4.


Ashmore, P. (1995) The ancient monuments of Orkney. HMSO; Edinburgh.

Cross, M. (1994) Bibliography of Monuments in the Care of the Secretary of State for Scotland, 601-2, Glasgow, 1994.

RCAHMS (1946) Twelfth Report with an Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Orkney and Shetland, vol. II, Inventory of Orkney. HMSO; Edinburgh.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

St. Mary's Chapel, Wyre

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About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. 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 8716 or at


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