Eagle Hill Masthead

Journal of the North Altantic

    Aim and Scope
    Board of Editors
    Editorial Workflow
    Publication Charges

Co-published Journals
    Northeastern Naturalist
    Southeastern Naturalist
    Caribbean Naturalist
    Neotropical Naturalist
    Urban Naturalist
    Eastern Paleontologist
    Eastern Biologist

Eagle Hill Institute

About Journal of the North Atlantic


Beyond the Parish Church: A Study of Chapels in the Parishes of Kirkapoll on Tiree and Snizort on Skye
Sarah Thomas

Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume 9 (2015): 67–82

Full-text pdf (Accessible only to subscribers.To subscribe click here.)


Site by Bennett Web & Design Co.
2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 67 S. Thomas Introduction The parish church was supposed to be the focal point for communities, but it was not the only venue for religious devotions. Chapels and other devotional sites, such as wells and wayside crosses, were widespread in the ecclesiastical landscape, so they would have been central to many peoples’ lives, and we cannot understand medieval religious practices without a better understanding of these buildings and their functions. For example, in the Hebrides, there are over two hundred potential chapel sites recorded by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) in Canmore. These sites force us to think beyond the parish church as the sole representative of religious practice and to look at how we define and categorize chapels. Contained within the designation of chapel are a whole host of different types of buildings with very different functions, founders, and users. The identification of the different types of chapel is challenging, particularly for the medieval Hebrides, where there are few contemporary historical sources for chapels. For example, there are only eight references to chapels in late medieval sources for the Hebrides: Teampull na Trionaid on North Uist is recorded in a charter of 1389 (Munro and Munro 1986:13), the chapel in the church of St Comgan’s of Duirinish is mentioned in a papal letter of 1382 (Burns 1976:79), Nave Island’s chapel on Islay is listed by Archdeacon Monro in 1549 (Monro 1999:313), St. Mary’s of Tobermory on Mull is recorded in a crown rental of 1509 (ER xiii:215), while the final four sites on Texa Island, Orsay Island, Finlaggan, and St Columba’s (all on Islay) are listed in the same crown rental of 1509 (ER xiii:219). The potential chapel sites in the two parishes to be studied below are either recorded as archaeological sites or through place-names and occasionally are associated with local traditions that give us a hint as to their previous functions. If we want to understand how these chapels functioned, we have to look elsewhere for comparative material. Chapels in medieval Scotland have not been much studied, apart from discussions of individual sites (Rennie 1999). We have to look to England for national and regional surveys of medieval chapels; these studies, which are primarily based on historical sources, particularly those by Nicholas Orme (1996), Gervase Rosser (1991), and N.G.J. Pounds (2000), have discussed four main chapel types: dependent, cult, private, and locational. The use of comparative material from England is valid given that by the thirteenth century, the diocese of Sodor, of which the Hebrides was part, had “a diocesan and parochial structure comparable to that found in most parts of western Europe” (Cheney 1984a:67). The evidence for Cheney’s statement can be found in the synodal statutes of the diocese of Sodor, dating to 1230, 1292, and 1351, which deal with enforcing clerical behavior, guidance on religious observance and instruction, as well as the parishioners’ obligations to the Church (Cheney 1984b). While the statutes do not copy word-for-word statutes from England and Scotland, a practice common in medieval Europe, they contain some phrases which can identified as originating in either Scottish or English statutes. Thus, for example, in the 1292 statutes, chapters 24 and 30 seem, according to Cheney (1984a:70), to be from the Scottish statutes, while chapter 2 of the same statutes has its closest parallel in a statute of the diocese of Carlisle from 1258 or 1259. Furthermore, the statutes show the impact, even in this comparatively remote diocese, of the canons of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, particularly with reference to parochial provision Beyond the Parish Church: A Study of Chapels in the Parishes of Kirkapoll on Tiree and Snizort on Skye Sarah Thomas* Abstract - The ecclesiastical landscape of dispersed rural communities in the late Middle Ages consisted both of their parish church and other structures usually referred to as chapels. The laity’s main encounters with the Church were meant to occur at the parish church to which they belonged from the cradle to the grave; however, in practice, the laity’s allegiances were much more complex. This article discusses with reference to two parishes in the Hebrides how we can identify different chapel types and the implications this has for our understanding of medieval religious devotions. It will seek to demonstrate the breadth and diversity of religious practice in the late medieval Hebrides. Special Volume 9:67–82 2010 Hebridean Archaeology Forum Journal of the North Atlantic *Department of History, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX; S.E.Thomas@hull.ac.uk. 2015 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 68 S. Thomas (Cheney 1984a:72). The synodal statutes were enacted on the Isle of Man by the bishop and the clergy of Man, but there is a direct reference from a fifteenth-century papal petition to the synodal statutes of Sodor, which indicates that either these statutes or something very similar was applied to the rest of the diocese (Kirk et al. 1997:166). Clearly, when using comparative material, one has to be aware of the differences of parochial development between England and Scotland, and given the diocese of Sodor’s inclusion in the Norwegian church province of Nidaros, Norwegian parochial development also has to be taken into account, but this does not exclude careful use of English secondary literature (see, for example, Addleshaw 1953; Brink 1998; Cant 1984; Cowan 1995a, b; Pounds 2000; Rogers 1997). We must acknowledge that there may have been peculiarities or exceptions as a result of differences in parochial development. Thus, for example, if the parochial system in the Hebrides was based on the Norwegian prestegjeld, or enlarged parishes, as Cant (1984:8–12) argued, we might find that there were more dependent chapels than in smaller English parishes. We may of course find that there are chapels which cannot be easily assigned a chapel type or which overlap into at least two types. These four chapel types—dependent, cult, private, and locational—form the basis of a preliminary typology of chapels. The key question is: how can we determine function and use from structures which often have few surviving remains and are largely undocumented? Characteristics for identifying dependent chapels are: distance from the parish church, proximity to secular settlement, the size of the building (was it suitable for communal worship?), indications from the architecture and building materials that this was funded by the local community, and evidence for baptism and burial in the form of a font and medieval grave-slabs. The private or oratory chapel is to be identified by its proximity to lordly residences, and by the investment in building. The cult chapel is more complicated to identity: some of its key characteristics are the absence of features potentially associated with dependent chapels, i.e., no burial ground. Some cult chapels are to be found on the periphery of settlement, but others will have been deliberately placed in the vicinity of settlement. If most cult chapels were built by communities or groups of devotees we might expect them to be small and of relatively restricted building materials. Placenames and local traditions may also provide evidence of devotional activities. Some cult sites may have had their origins in the early Middle Ages and as a result were the focus of devotional activity in the high and Late Middle Ages because of the perceived sanctity of site or a direct association with a local early Medieval saint. It is therefore worth looking for evidence of early medieval use such as crosses, enclosures, and structures such as cell-like features. The final category, locational chapels, have some similar characteristics to the cult chapels. However, cult chapels were devoted to the worship of a particular saint, whereas a locational chapel is defined as being deliberately placed in a specific location. Location is therefore the key characteristic combined with historical and or local traditions that may explain the choice of location. This methodology requires an interdisciplinary approach: a willingness to use material ranging from early modern travellers’ accounts to place-name studies and early maps in addition to the physical archaeological evidence. We have to acknowledge that using such varied sources presents its own challenges. The study of place-names is complicated in the Hebrides because of the settlement and language history that saw Gaelic and Pictish, then Norse and later further Gaelic, settlement. Place-name elements such as kil-, kirk- or teampull can help us determine where churches were located, which is particularly useful for those sites where there is no longer any physical archaeological remains. Such elements combined with the personal name of a saint can indicate with whom the chapel was associated. There are potential problems with the use of place-names, not least because, as Clancy (2010:10–11) pointed out, there is always the possibility that the personal name refers not to the saint but to the patron of the church. Early maps and early modern travellers’ accounts also often document sites that either have no physical remains or have changed significantly in the intervening period. Thus, for example, the chapel site at Crossapoll on Coll is described by James Boswell in the autumn of 1773 at which point there were visible foundations of a chapel structure, this structure is no longer apparent and may have been eroded into the sea (Pottle and Bennett 1936:286). Early maps such as Turnbull’s map of Tiree of 1768–9 not only recorded some church sites but also include descriptions of some sites. Turnbull’s map was based on a survey that he had conducted on Tiree in 1768–1769 (Johnston 1995:112). Both types of source materials have their drawbacks; we cannot assume that they recorded all sites, and indeed, their primary interest was not antiquities. There is also value in the nineteenth and early twentieth century antiquarian accounts like those of Erskine Beveridge and William Reeves (Beveridge 1903, Reeves 1854). Beveridge and Reeves recorded not only their observations of physical remains, but 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 69 S. Thomas also local traditions and place-names recounted to them by the local inhabitants. Such descriptions are also valuable for their observations of features that may have entirely disappeared over the last hundred years. However, the antiquarian work was, for the most part, piecemeal and very selective about the sites described and in terms of this article’s focus, only Tiree, not Skye, received attention from Reeves and Beveridge. A final source and one used particularly for the case study of the parish of Snizort on Skye is the Statistical Accounts of Scotland and specifically the Old Statistical Accounts (OSA) of 1791–1799 for the parishes of Snizort and Portree. The quality and detail of the descriptions in the OSA depend on the author of the parish description, usually either the minster or the schoolmaster; thus, Snizort’s account is considerably shorter and less concerned with early church sites than Portree’s (Campbell 1791–1799, MacLeod 1791–1799). Dependent chapels, alternatively called chapelsof- ease, were incorporated into the parochial structure. They were primarily meant to serve communities distant from the parish church or communities that faced particular difficulties accessing the parish church, for instance, in winter (Pounds 2000:93). Distant communities seem to have been interpreted by English bishops as those communities which were more than two miles from their parish church and which therefore faced a more than four-mile round trip; Bishop Johannes de Pontissara’s synodal statutes of circa 1295 stated that chapels which were subject to the parish church and were over two miles distant should have burial grounds (Deedes 1916:210–211). Pope Gregory IX had written in 1233 to Archbishop Walter Gray of York advising him that given the large parishes in his province, chapels might be founded to serve distant communities (Raine 1872:167–168). Gregory IX’s letter, however, did not define what was meant by distant. Martin Martin’s account of the Hebrides circa 1695 recorded that the inhabitants of Lewis would stop and pray on their way to church while they were still four miles distant from the church (Munro 1999:29). On Lewis, even the two closest medieval parish churches were twelve miles apart, which meant that parishioners living near the boundary would have been faced with at least five or six miles to walk to church.1 In less populated areas, longer distances may have been more acceptable than in more densely populated areas. Dependent chapels were also to be found in detached portions of parishes whose inhabitants would otherwise have faced a long journey to their parish church across at least one other parish. For example, the parish of Dull in Highland Perthshire had several detached portions which contained dependent chapels, including those of Foss in Strathtummel and St. Mary’s at Grandtully (School of Art History, University of St. Andrews 2008). Foss is approximately nine miles northwest of Dull, while St Mary’s is approximately seven miles east of Dull. In the midthirteenth century, Foss had a resident chaplain who was supposed to receive five marks of income (St. Andrews Liber 1845:307–308). It seems to have had a reasonably sized chapel structure, measuring approximately 10.25 m x 3.99 m with an area of 40.89 m², a burial ground, and maybe even a font. Distance was not the only factor that was considered; problems in accessing the parish church were often listed in petitions seeking to obtain dependent status. Problems included flooding, snow, rocky and mountainous routes, and bandits. For example, in May 1391, the inhabitants of the village of Carleton in the diocese of York petitioned the Pope for permission to bury their dead at their local chapel because they were sometimes unable to reach their parish church because the river Ayre was “sometimes so flooded that they cannot convey their dead” (Bliss and Twemlow 1902:392). While the flooding of the river Ayre sounds a plausible explanation, others exaggerated the physical difficulty faced by those who had to attend the parish church; for example, the parishioners of Kingsbridge in Devon claimed that their parish church was at the top of “a lofty mountain”, whereas, as Pounds (2000:94) points out, it is only 100 m above sea level. Claims of difficulty of access might be stressed by stating that newborns were dying without baptism and adults without confession. Bishops had the authority to grant dependent status to chapels, but it was a status that was much restricted, as discussed above. However, communities might also appeal to the papacy either because the bishop had refused or because of a perception that the papacy provided a more secure status. These chapels usually had the right to divine services, but the rights to baptism and burial were more difficult to obtain and less frequently granted (Orme 1996:79–80). From the fourteenth century, papal mandates granting permission for burial at chapels became increasingly common; for example, in 1463, a chapel in the diocese of Lincoln was granted burial rights because parishioners were unable to reach the parish church as a result of floods and other dangers (Twemlow 1933:222–3). The main users of dependent chapels would have been members of these distant communities. A dependent chapel might have a permanent priest or chaplain, either provided by the parish rector or paid for by the community, and regular services would be conducted (Orme 1996:88). 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 70 S. Thomas In terms of categorizing undocumented archaeological chapel sites, a chapel site which is distant from the parish church is perhaps more likely to have had dependent status than one in close proximity; yet the latter might have had dependent status if it was particularly difficult to access the parish church from that location. Other criteria for identifying dependent sites are the existence of a font and burial ground. Chapel size and construction method, where these can be analyzed, are also potential indicators of status; dependent chapels were, after all, meant to accommodate the laity, and therefore it is likely that they would not be particularly small. We have to be aware that judgements on what constitutes a small or medium-sized chapel will tend to be based on local circumstances. In a Hebridean context, a small chapel might have an area of no more 25 m², a mediumsized chapel at least 25 m², and a large chapel at least 40 m². This categorization is based on analysis of 97 chapel sites in the Hebrides with sufficient remains to measure: out of the 97, 40 can be classed as small, 30 as medium sized, and 27 as large.2 The smallest chapel, St Flannan’s in the Flannan Isles, has an internal area of only 3.45 m² (NMRS number: NA74NW 1), while the second largest chapel, Kilchiaran on Islay, has an internal area of 73.95 m² (NMRS number: NR26SW 6). The largest chapel, Teampull na Trionaid, is exceptionally large at 121.8 m² (NMRS number: NF86SW 24). Conversely, since these chapels were most commonly constructed by the local community, which might have had limited resources, we can expect these structures to be built using local stone with few or no freestone dressings. For example, the dependent chapels of Kilchiaran and Kilnaughton, respectively in the parishes of Kilchoman and Kildalton on Islay, are constructed of uncoursed local rubble and boulders bonded with lime mortar, and any dressings are of the same stone (RCAHMS 1984:194, 217–218). Both chapels are large; Kilchiaran has an area of 73.95 m² and Kilnaughton is 52.65 m². The wealth of the community, e.g., whether they had a wealthy patron to supply resources, must have determined the size and complexity of dependent chapel structures. Dependent chapels are the only ones which had a place in the parochial structures. Private or oratory chapels can be classed as semi-official since they had to be licensed by the bishop in order for divine services to take place (Pounds 2000:100). For example, during the episcopate of Bishop John de Grandisson of Exeter, 1328–1369, there were 22 licenses granted for oratory chapels in Cornwall (Hingeston- Randolph 1894–1897:492, 493, 525, 532, 553, 584, 587, 588–591, 594, 602–603, 605, 607, 624–627, 634, 648, 653–654, 696–697, 750, 775, 819, 890, and 910). In the high Middle Ages, oratory chapels were not necessarily consecrated, but from the thirteenth century onwards, bishops were more forthright in demanding consecration (Pounds 2000:101). The oratory chapels were a place where the lord and his family might hear mass and pray in private. These private chapels were most commonly located in the vicinity of a castle or other power center or within such a building. For example, Lochleven castle had a chapel integrated into the structure of the building, while the chapel at Tullibardine was in the vicinity of the castle (Fawcett 1998:88). The size of the castle may have influenced whether a chapel was within the main building or in the vicinity. Private chapels were not meant to be used by the laity in general, although there are examples of private chapels being used by the lord’s tenants (Rosser 1992:182). Private chapels would have been served by a chaplain who was employed by the lord. Papal petitions and Lordship charters provide evidence of five clerics who served as chaplains to the Lords of the Isles (Munro 1986:239). The size of private chapels would have varied according to the requirements and resources of the patron; for example, the chapel associated with Dunstaffnage castle in Argyll has an internal area of 127.9 m², while the one at the power center of the Lordship of the Isles, Finlaggan on Islay, is only 38.25 m² (RCAHMS 1975:124–9, 1984:279). These two chapels also contrast architecturally; Finlaggan was constructed in roughly coursed rubble bonded with lime mortar, while the builders of Dunstaffnage used rectangular blocks with courses of pinnings between each main course of blocks (Caldwell and Ruckley 2005:102, RCAHMS 1984:279). Dunstaffnage had eight windows decorated internally with either nook shaft or dog-toothed ornament, while excavations at Finlaggan reveal two pieces of grey-yellow sandstone, which Caldwell (2010:214) suggests were rybats from the north and south windows. Free-standing private chapel structures are the easiest chapel-type to identify because convenience means that they are almost always associated with a castle or lordly residence. However, private chapels within castle structures are not necessarily straightforward to identify; in cases where a room or rooms were specifically designed as a chapel or adapted, features such as windows in the east wall—allowing the light to fall on the altar—or an altar built into the wall may indicate the room’s purpose. However, there need not have been a specifically designed room; in the later Middle Ages, the nobility and gentry were able to gain licences, either from their bishop or from the papacy, to have a portable altar. A portable altar would thus transform a room into 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 71 S. Thomas a chapel, and a licence might only be issued for a short period of time, and therefore it might have been considered too costly to alter a room significantly (Pounds 2000:102). For elites who travelled between different residences, portable altars meant that they did not have to build chapels in all their residences (Webb 2005:37). Portable altars ranged in design from simple stone blocks with carved consecration crosses, e.g., the sandstone portable altar from Coldingham priory, to elaborate, detailed panels made from ivory or metal and glass (Caldwell 1982:103). Cult chapels were outside the parochial structure; these tended to be devoted to the worship of particular saint, either a popular local saint associated with the location or a universal saint who was significant to the local community. Such chapels might be the focus of local pilgrimage or more widespread devotions. Cult chapels were not required to be licensed either by the bishop or the papacy, but bishops might attempt to suppress a cult chapel either because they disapproved of the specific devotions or because devotions at that chapel were depriving another site of valuable income. The category covers a wide range of structures which have different location types and potentially different users. Sites located in remote locations are included; remote is defined as those sites which are at the margins of the parish, or of secular settlement and topographically remote. These sites tend not to be on routes of travel, and therefore, devotions at such a chapel would have involved a dedicated journey of varying length and difficulty. Cult chapels of this type include the chapels on Orsay Island at the south end of Kilchoman parish on Islay and Nave Island at the north end of the same parish (RCAHMS 1984:225–228, 254–256). On the other side of the spectrum, there were cult chapel sites dedicated to a particular saint that were located in the vicinity of settlement. For example, in the parish of Duddingston, there was a chapel dedicated to St Anthony, to which the rector of the parish in 1447 claimed that “the inhabitants of those parts flock on feast days” (Dunlop and MacLauchlan 1983:330). This chapel is situated on the northwest side of Whinny Hill overlooking Edinburgh (Fig. 1). While it might be considered difficult to access, given the steep slope which must be climbed, it cannot be described as remote. Figure 1. St Anthony's chapel, Edinburgh. 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 72 S. Thomas places of danger. Such chapels might only be there for prayer with few or no services. Restrictions might be placed on these chapels in order to ensure that they did not infringe on the rights of the parish church. Chapels at harbors tended to be dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors; for example, there was a chapel devoted to St. Nicholas at Plymouth (Orme 1996:87). In the Hebrides, one locational chapel called Teampull A’Ghlinne, (the church or chapel of the glen), seems to have been located at the south end of Colonsay, about 750 m from the tidal strand which leads across to Oronsay (Fig. 2). The RCAHMS recorded the tradition that this chapel was used by travellers and funeral parties waiting to cross to Oronsay (RCAHMS 1984:258). In the diocese of Argyll, the Campbells seem to have founded and endowed a chapel, dedicated to St. Catherine, on Loch Fyne at a ferry point. In a supplication of March 1466, Colin Campbell sought an indulgence for masses to be said there, although it was not yet consecrated, and he claimed that his father had endowed the chapel “for the sustentation of one chaplain” (Kirk et al. 1997:326). Chapels founded on or near battlefields include one built by Edward IV on the battlefield of Barnet, which took place on 14 April 1471; while such chapels tended to be founded by Place-names like Eilean Chaluim Chille on Skye, the island of St. Columba, suggest an association, even possibly a dedication, to that saint. However, we have to acknowledge that all mediaeval churches and chapels were dedicated to saints, and therefore, surviving dedications are not enough on their own to conclude that a site was a cult chapel site. Such place-names have to be considered in conjunction with other data such as location and associated structures. Chapel size and construction are also factors worth considering in respect of cult chapels; for the most part, we might expect cult chapels to be small structures, not designed for community worship, and simply constructed if many of these sites were built and maintained by local communities. Thus, construction methods for cult chapels may include the building in stone and turf without mortar or limited use of mortar, but with no freestone dressings. Only the most popular and successful cult chapels might be able to have the resources devoted to them in order to have more elaborate structures. Finally, locational chapels were those sites that were located in distinctive places, determined by topography, routes of travel (including pilgrimage), or specific events which the chapel commemorated, e.g., battles. Prime locations for such chapels were passes, harbors, ferry crossings, bridges, or other Figure 2. Teampull a’ Ghlinne from the north-east, Colonsay. 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 73 S. Thomas possible to map the lands and draw the boundary between them. We thus see that the boundary between Soroby and Kirkapoll parishes ran roughly east–west, from a point to the west of Scarinish in the southeast to the northwest of Ben Hough (ER xiii:216–217). Snizort’s boundaries were reconstructed using OPS’s boundaries with the early modern MacDonald tacks (NRAS3273:190, 198, 203; OPS 1854:354–55). The western boundary ran from Loch Sligachan in the south to the Point of Lynedale in the north, while its north boundary ran from Bearreraig Bay on the east coast of the Trotternish peninsula to north of Kingsburgh on its west coast. Kirkapoll, Tiree The first of our case-studies is the parish of Kirkapoll on the island of Tiree (Fig. 3). This parish comprises the northern half of Tiree; the boundary between it and Soroby parish ran roughly east–west, from a point to the west of Scarinish in the southeast to the northwest of Ben Hough (ER xiii:216–217). The parish has its focus at the churches at the center of Kirkapoll Bay. At Kirkapoll itself, there are two surviving medieval church buildings: the parish church and chapel. There are seven possible chapel sites in the parish: Kirkapoll chapel, Balephetrish, Caibeal Thomais at Scarinish, Crois A’ Chaolais, Cill Fhinnein at Kenovay, Kilbride, and A’ Chrois. There are visible remains of only two of these chapels. The parish church dedicated to St. Columba is recorded in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The first reference to the church of Kirkapoll is from 1375, when a cleric named Niall MacFinnlaech was revealed to have claimed unjustly that the church of St Columba of Kirkapoll was vacant when in fact it was legally occupied by Aed MacPeter (DN VII no. 293). There are a further three recorded clergy at this church from 1375 until 1472 (Dunlop and MacLauchlan 1983:201, Kirk et al. 1997:360, McGurk 1976:79). Prior to 1380, Kirkapoll seems to have been in the possession of Ardchattan priory, but by 1397 it had been transferred to the bishop of Sodor (Burns 1976:46, Dunlop and MacLauchlan 1983:201). Thus, from 1397 onwards, the parish church of Kirkapoll was appropriated by the bishop of Sodor for his episcopal mensa, and the two recorded fifteenth-century clergy were perpetual vicars, not rectors (Dunlop and MacLauchlan 1983:201). The large rectangular church is unicameral and measures internally 11.3 m by 5.2 m with an area of 58.76 m² (Fig. 4). Its notable architectural features include two round-headed windows in the south royalty or nobility, they were not private chapels because their sole purpose was the commemoration of the battle (Orme 1996:83). Chapels might also be founded on pilgrimage routes; for example, the “Slipper Chapel” at Houghton St. Giles was located on the approach to Walsingham and Holy Cross Church at Mwnt in Ceredigion where pilgrims, en route to Bardsey, are supposed to have rested (Adair 1978:16, Webb 2000:229). We might expect that locational chapels would, on the whole, be small, although that is dependent on the resources of the founder, and the size was also likely to be associated with local or national traditions about their use. There is some potential crossover between the last two categories since a cult chapel might be considered to be locational if it was founded on the basis of the saint having visited that spot. Within these categories of chapels, there are likely to be variants and it may also be that my ongoing research project may identify chapels that do not fit easily into any of these four types. Nonetheless, even with these four chapel types, we have enormous variety both in terms of official Church functions and in terms of users. The challenge is to apply this to Hebridean sites with no historical references and minimal amounts of archaeological intervention and historical or archaeological interest. As we noted earlier in the introduction, the Hebrides seem to have had a similar parochial structure to that of England and Scotland, although with the possibility of some characteristics comparable to the Norwegian prestegjeld, the priest’s district which encompassed two or three parishes (Cant 1984:5). While over half of the parish churches are recorded in the late Middle Ages, primarily in petitions to the papacy, the parish boundaries are not, and modern parish boundaries cannot be assumed to follow medieval lines given the changes which occurred after the Reformation. The two islands to be discussed below both experienced significant changes in their parish organisation in the post-medieval period. The two medieval parishes, Soroby and Kirkapoll, on Tiree were united with that of Coll in 1618 (Scott 1923:108), while on Skye, the creation of the parish of Portree in 1726 and the amalgamation of Uig parish into Kilmuir and Snizort parishes around the same time extensively moved the medieval boundaries (Campbell 1791–1799:138). In order to reconstruct the medieval parish boundaries, sixteenthcentury Crown rentals and early modern tacks were used in addition to the Origines Parochiales Scotiæ, which presented reconstructions of the medieval parish boundaries of some Scottish dioceses including the Hebrides (OPS 1854). The 1509 Crown rental of Tiree lists the lands by parish, and it is therefore 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 74 S. Thomas wall and a semi-circular arch-headed doorway in the center of the west wall. The doorway and windows are constructed of slab voussoirs and are vaulted (RCAHMS 1980:153). There are no visible internal features such as dedication crosses or altar footings, except for traces of internal wall plastering. A limited excavation was undertaken by GUARD in 2001 as part of consolidation work on the east gable of the church. The excavations revealed both disarticulated bones and articulated burials within a chamber underneath the east wall, which the excavator concluded was part of the original construction of the church (Lelong 2001:6, 9). Kirkapoll’s status as the parish church is clearly demonstrated by the large graveyards, both the one around the parish church and a second graveyard to the southeast. Their use in the medieval period is confirmed by the presence of ten late mediaeval grave-slabs and the plinth of a late mediaeval cross. The church has been dated to the later Middle Ages, possibly the second half of the fourteenth century, on the basis of its architecture (RCAHMS 1980:156). Figure 4. Kirkapoll churches from the south-east, Tiree. Figure 3. The medieval parish of Kirkapoll, Tiree. © Crown Copyright/database right 2011. An Ordnance Survey/EDINA supplied service. 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 75 S. Thomas basis of the name, Caibeal Thòmais, and local tradition. According to Beveridge (1903:156), the site was known as Caibeal Thòmais, the chapel of Thomas. Beveridge’s informants told him that “the chapel ruins were utilised to build the old store on the eastern side of the harbour” (Beveridge 1903:157). The Tiree place-names project have recorded a second place-name, Cladh Beag Thomais, at the northern edge of the village of Scarinish (Tireeplacenames. org 2011). There were no visible remains in the location given by Beveridge. The nearest anchorage and landing place is approximately 200 m to the south at what became Scarinish harbor. Turnbull’s map marks it as a harbor, and it was clearly a sheltered anchorage even before the construction of the pier. A chapel might have been built to serve the settlement which is likely to have grown up in proximity to this harbor. It might also have served as a chapel for sailors and other travellers arriving or leaving Tiree, although if it were primarily intended for sailors, we might expect a dedication to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, rather than an apparent dedication to a Thomas (Orme 1996:87). However, it should be noted that there are no recorded dedications to St. Nicholas in the Hebrides, and other saints such as St. Clement, St. Mary, and possibly also St Brendan may have served as patrons for sailors and other travellers. One interesting point is that the nunnery of Iona owned land at Scarinish, and it may be that this included the land on which this chapel stood (RMS 7: 537). Unfortunately, we do not know either when the nunnery acquired the land or when the chapel was in use. Therefore, we can only speculate whether the chapel predated or post-dated the gifting of the land to the nunnery. We could postulate that the foundation of a chapel by the nunnery might have been a means of re-enforcing their possession of the land. Balephetrish The fourth potential chapel site, Ard Chircnis at Balephetrish, is located to the northwest of Kirkapoll, approximately 1.5 miles across rough moorland. There is an old drove road that leads up past the chapels on to the rough moorland, which was common grazings at the time of Turnbull’s survey in 1768. The place-name by which the site is identified as a possible chapel, Ard Chircnis, means either the point of the church or the height of the church (MacBain 1896:8, 18). The first edition OS map recorded the place-name, Cill Fhinnein—the church or chapel of St Fínán, in the approximate location given by Beveridge, but it was not recorded by Reeves or Beveridge when they discussed this site (National Library of Scotland 1882, Reeves 1854:241, Kirkapoll chapel The chapel is circa 120 m to the northeast of St. Columba’s church on a small knoll. It is small in size, measuring 7.1 m by 3.4 m internally with a total area of 24.14 m². The north wall still stands to its original height of 2.8 m, whereas the eastern half of the south wall is partially collapsed. Like the parish church, it is dated to the latter half of the fourteenth century (RCAHMS 1980:156). The chapel’s location is very striking; it has commanding views over the church, the two graveyards and the surrounding area. There is also a group of early mediaeval incised crosses on rock outcrops just to the north of the chapel, which hint at an early mediaeval origin for the site (Fisher 2001:124). On the basis of the chapel’s proximity to these incised Latin crosses, we might speculate that it sits on the site of an earlier structure which at some point in the fourteenth century was replaced by the current chapel. This chapel should perhaps be seen as a cult chapel venerating an earlier holy site. The size of the Kirkapoll site may be a reflection of its original early mediaeval significance, possibly as a monastic site. In Adomnán’s account, Tiree was said to have several monasteries in addition to Columba’s foundation of Campus Lunge or Magh Luinge (Fisher 2001:10). Crois a’ Chaolais The second potential chapel site is approximately 2.5 miles to the northeast of Kirkapoll. The site is known as Crois a’ Chaolais, “the Cross of the strait”. The name of the site implies that there once was a cross in this location.3 Beveridge (1903:156) recorded that there were two large stones which served as the socket for the cross and that the cross itself had been used to build a house. Unfortunately, we do not know what size this cross was, but given its location, we might wonder whether it had served as a marker for sailors. The site is on rising ground approximately 700 m from the east coast of Tiree and Gunna Sound. A tall cross might well have been visible from the sea. The north-to-south sea route passed between Coll and Tiree using the Sound of Gunna: hence, the name for Coll and Tiree, Na h- Eileanan Tarsainn—“the Athwart Islands” (Matheson 1982:337). However, there are no signs of any remains at the location given by Beveridge. It seems unlikely that this was a chapel site. Caibeal Thòmais The third chapel site is approximately 1.5 miles to the southwest of Kirkapoll. It is supposed to have been located on the edge of the modern township of Scarinish. It is identified as a putative chapel on the 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 76 S. Thomas 1999:109). Cillín tend to be found in a number of different types of sites in Ireland: abandoned church sites, prehistoric sites such as those with megaliths or in ringforts, or tower-houses (Finlay 2000:411). The apparent presence of infant burials may indicate that this chapel had been abandoned, and subsequent to the abandonment, was used as a cillín because locals believed the place was still holy. This chapel may have been abandoned by the late mediaeval period and used for infant burial. Kilbride The site of Kilbride may have been located near Cornaigmore approximately four miles west of Kirkapoll; Reeves (1854:241) recorded that human remains had been found in its stackyard and that there was local knowledge of a chapel building having existed. However, the Reverend McColl’s (1791–1799:402) account of the discovery of human and equine skeletons with weapons in the Old Statistical Account of 1791–99 does not seem to be indicative of Christian burial ground. There are no visible remains of the site. The place-name, Kilbride, is not recorded on either Turnbull’s map of Tiree of 1768 or on Blaeu’s map of 1654. There is a rock called Creag Bhrìde just south of the possible site, which suggests that there are grounds for accepting the Kilbride place-name recorded by Reeves (http://www.tireeplacenames.org/cornaigmore/ creag_bhride/). However, there is insufficient evidence to conclude this was a chapel site with a burial ground. A’Chrois The final site is located close to the northern coast of Tiree. It is approximately 4.8 miles northwest of Kirkapoll. There are no visible remains of the site. The SCAPE airborne remote-sensing and ground-penetrating radar survey of Tiree undertook detailed work at A’Chrois. In the field behind the farm, they identified an area of disturbance, and in the daytime thermal image there appears to be a rectangular enclosure aligned east–west that may be interpreted as a chapel structure (Dawson and Winterbottom 2003:29). The ground-penetrating radar revealed a pattern which “is consistent with that expected from the capstone of a grave” (Dawson and Winterbottom 2003:34). It would thus appear that there was a chapel Beveridge 1903:147). There are no visible remains of chapel or burial ground. Turnbull’s map labels an area to the east of Balephetrish farm as “the minister’s glebe”. The minister’s manse at the time was at Balephetrish, though since it is not listed as such on the sixteenth-century crown rentals, it was probably the post-Reformation manse (Cregeen 1964:2; ER xiii:216–217; ER xviii:614). It is possible that there was a connection between Balephetrish and either the parish church site of Kirkapoll or the chapel site at Cill Fhinnein at Kenovay which might explain the church place-name. Kenovay The next site, Cill Fhinnein, is located at Kenovay approximately three miles to the west of Kirkapoll. The place-name, Cill Fhinnein or the chapel of St. Fínán, was recorded on the first edition OS map of 1882 (National Library of Scotland 1882). The dedication of the chapel was probably to a St. Fínán, whom Watson (1926:285–286) suggested was a fourth- or early fifth-century saint with Munster origins. It is surrounded by boggy ground, rocky knolls, and reeds. The site consists of a rectangular turf-covered structure measuring 9.1 m by 5.9 m with a total area of 32.25 m² and orientated EW within an irregular pentagonal enclosure (Fig. 5). The stones around the chapel are probably grave stones since they are aligned east–west and in organized rows. These stones appear to be small headers and footers. Reeves recorded that the burial ground had been used as a place of burial for stillborn, therefore unbaptized, children (Reeves 1854:241). It seems probable that this burial ground was used as a cillín for the burial of unbaptized children. According to Canon law, the unbaptized were not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground, and therefore burial places outside the norm, usually away from the parish church, had to be established (Donnelly et al. Figure 5. Cill Fhinnein from the east, Tiree. 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 77 S. Thomas and burial ground at A’ Chrois. The place-name, A’ Chrois, means “of the cross”; there is a place-name recorded nearby on the first edition OS map: Mullach na Croise. Beveridge (1903:153) suggested that it should have read Crois a’ Moluag, the Cross of Moluag, which would suggest that the Kilmoluag place-name recorded by Blaeu in 1654 and now the name of a township to the southwest of A’ Chrois may have originally have referred to this chapel. The chapel is therefore likely to have been dedicated to St Moluag or Mo-Luóc of Lismore, who died in 592 (Watson 1926:292). It is noticeable how close together the last three sites are; the chapel at Cornaigmore is only 1780 m from A’ Chrois and only 1530 m from Cill Fhinnein. It is possible to see the other two chapels from any of these three chapels. Does this therefore indicate that this northwest area of Tiree was more densely populated than other areas and therefore needed more chapels in order to accommodate the inhabitants? The 1509 and 1541 rentals indicate the concentration of settlement in this northwest area and suggest that it was high quality land. The landholdings of Kenovay, Kilmoluaig, Cornaigmore, Cornaigbeg, Balevullin, and Beist had a combined value of 31 marks in 1541, whereas the other landholdings in the parish which were spread out over a great area were only worth a total of 34 marks (ER xviii:614–615). We might therefore conclude, based on these relatively high land values, that there was a greater concentration of settlement in the vicinity. The population in 1768 was certainly greater in this part of the parish: the townships of Kenovay, Cornaigbeg, Cornaigmore, Beist, Kilmoluaig and Park, Balevullin, and Hough had a total population of 571, whereas the rest of the parish, covering a much larger area, added up to 564 (Cregeen 1964:Tiree map). While the actual figures may be too high for the late mediaeval period, the fact that there is a higher proportion of inhabitants for the northwest part of the island than the rest of the parish may be significant. Clearly we have to bear in mind the potential for population movement within the island and population growth, but relative population density may explain why there are three chapels in the northwest of Tiree. It seems highly probable that one of these three chapels was a dependent chapel serving the population of that immediate area. Which of the three was the dependent chapel is difficult to determine. A’ Chrois is the most likely based on the findings of the ground-penetrating radar survey, but clearly there are many uncertainties including the date of the site. We cannot determine whether the site was in use in the late mediaeval period or earlier. Snizort on Skye The parish of Snizort is the central parish in Skye, both geographically and in ecclesiastical importance (Fig. 6). From 1387 onwards, the parish church site of St. Columba’s of Snizort on Skeabost Island was the cathedral seat for the diocese of Sodor (Thomas 2010:32; for discussion of the archaeology and history of Snizort, see Thomas, in press). The parish church seems to have remained on the island and to have been served by a perpetual vicar, perhaps with the revenues of the rectory appropriated to the bishopric (Dunlop and MacLauchlan 1983:188, Kirk et al. 1997:87). There is certainly evidence for burial on the island; there are at least two late mediaeval grave-slabs on the island in addition to a great many more recent burials. No font survives, but according to F.T. MacLeod (1910:375), there was a simple font lying near the church in the nineteenth century. The remains of the large rectangular church lie in the center of the island and measure 23 m by 5.30 m east–west with a total area of 121 m² (Fig. 7). The walls survive as turf-covered banks, except at the northwest corner where up to six courses of walling are visible. The interpretation of the layout of the interior of the church is rendered complicated by Figure 6. The medieval parish of Snizort, Skye. © Crown Copyright/database right 2011. An Ordnance Survey/ EDINA supplied service. 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 78 S. Thomas the insertion of early modern burial enclosures, but it is possible that there is a division of the building about 5 m from the east wall (Thomas, in press:5). There may also have been a lateral chapel on the south wall, measuring 5 m by 10.6 m, and ancillary buildings to the north (Ibid:6). Two architectural fragments associated with the church provide some potential dates, though it must be noted neither has an exact find-spot recorded. The first is a fluted or reeded nook-shaft capital that has close parallels to two early thirteenth-century column capitals from Iona (RCAHMS 1982:268 n.118). The second architectural fragment is a fairly elaborate piece of roll moulding that has at least five rolls. It is difficult to date with certainty, but it is most probably later mediaeval, either fourteenth or fifteenth century, and was probably from a window or doorway. These two fragments provide us with a tantalizing glimpse of what the church might have looked like. They certainly suggest it was a more ornate building than the very simple parish church at Kirkapoll on Tiree, which had no architectural mouldings. The island is in an accessible location; it is only a quarter of a mile from the head of Loch Snizort where boats could be anchored or drawn up, and it seems to be at the edge of one of the main route ways to the northwest of Skye. It is interesting to note while looking at the map of the parish that this northwestern part of the parish, and in particular the low-lying land, all have access to Loch Snizort. Thus, as long as you had access to a boat, it was not an especially long journey to the parish church. In terms of chapels, there are five possible chapel sites in the parish of Snizort, all but one of which are in the southeast of the parish. The first is on Skeabost Island and is located in the northwestern corner of the island. It is a small rectangular structure that measures 6.5 m by 4.80 m externally with an entranceway in the western end of the north wall. No architectural fragments survive from the doorway. The only surviving window is a square-headed opening in the east gable that is splayed on all four sides. Sandstone architectural fragments in the chapel walls have led Martin Wildgoose (2000:1) to suggest that the chapel postdates the late medieval cathedral. Additionally, the window style is comparable to the late medieval chapel of St Ninian on Sanda, and therefore a sixteenth-century date is plausible (RCAHMS 1971:151). This structure is known as the “Nicolson Aisle” because of a Nicolson tradition that the Nicolson chiefs were buried there (Maclean 1999:45). I would therefore argue that the chapel was most likely a private chapel of the Nicolsons, though we cannot rule out the possibility that it served as the parish church if the cathedral building proved too large and expensive for the parish to maintain. Three potential sites, Bile chapel, Kiltaraglen and Eilean Chaluim Chille, cluster around modern day Portree. The most important of these seems to be Bile chapel, immediately to the north of Portree. It sits in a striking location at the side of a reasonably flat field with steeply rising slopes on all three sides and a view straight out to sea to the east (Fig. 8). The site consists of a small rectangular structure orientated ENE–WSW (NG44SE 1). It measures 8.2 m by 4 m internally and the walls are circa 0.90 m thick with a total internal area of 32.8 m². The doorway may have been in the west end of the south wall. The interior of the chapel is filled with loose stone that may be tumble from the walls. Alternatively, the chapel site may have been used as a place to dump stone from field clearance. The only indication of burials is a little to the west of the chapel where there is the grave stone of a coxswain who seems to have died at sea and been buried here. The area immediately around the chapel is so littered with loose stone that it is difficult Figure 8. Bile chapel from the west, Skye. Figure 7. East end of the interior of the cathedral church at Snizort, Skye. 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 79 S. Thomas It is not mentioned in the first Statistical Account, which may suggest that it had quickly gone out of use after the Reformation. The dedication to St. Columba, as commemorated in the place-name, is perhaps evidence that this was a cult chapel dedicated to the veneration of St. Columba. Without any datable evidence, such as early mediaeval crosses, we cannot say whether it is an early mediaeval or later mediaeval dedication. Kiltaraglen The fourth chapel site, Kiltaraglen, has no visible remains and some of the references ascribed to it actually refer to Bile chapel. It is identified as a possible chapel site on the basis of the place-name, Kiltaraglen, which OPS translated as “the chapel at the bottom of the glen” (OPS 1854:355). The RCAHMS suggest a dedication to a St. Talorgen, while Watson (2004:298) suggests that it is dedicated to Talorcan. The earliest attestation is Kiltareglan from 1 May 1734 (NRAS3273/4277). There may have been a chapel site here, but there is too little evidence to make any realistic suggestions. Achnahannait The final possible chapel site is at Achnahannait, circa 10 miles to the south, and again it is only a putative chapel. This location has been identified as a possible chapel site because of the place-name, Achnahannait, which means the field of the annait. The meaning of the second element, annait, is much debated—the latest view, that of Thomas Clancy (1995:114), is that it refers either to an early important church site or to the possession of such a church, particularly when it is a compound annat place-name like this one. There are no identifiable archaeological remains of a chapel in the vicinity of this place-name, either on the ground or on aerial photographs (NMRS number: NG53NW 15). This site is therefore interpreted as a field or piece of land possessed by another church, quite possibly Snizort. Therefore, from these five chapel sites in this parish, Bile chapel is the most likely candidate to be a dependent chapel. Its relative distance from the parish church and the apparently long tradition of burial there seem quite convincing. It can also be classed as a medium-sized chapel which had sufficient space for community worship. The chapel on Eilean Chaluim Chille was perhaps a cult chapel, dedicated to St Columba and with devotees making their way out there to pray to him. Its internal area of only 21 m² places it in the small size category; it would only have been suitable for very small numbers of people. The status of Kiltaraglen is uncertain, while Achnahannait is to identify any other grave-markers. Careful reading of the first Statistical Account of the parish of Portree has led me to conclude that the second Roman Catholic chapel recorded in it is not the putative chapel of Kiltaraglen as identified by OPS and the RCAHMS, but is in fact Bile chapel. The first Statistical Account of 1791–1799 recorded the presence of an old Roman Catholic chapel which “was the only burying ground at this end of the barony of Trotternish” and was used up until about 45 years before that time (Campbell 1791–99:145). The description of the location, with the chapel at the western end of a plain with a steep declivity above it, makes it very clear that this old Roman Catholic chapel has to be Bile chapel. It provides an excellent description of the way in which the chapel was reached. When surveying the site, we noted the wellestablished path to the chapel, which has at various points some stone-revetting supporting it (Thomas 2009:243). Eilean Chaluim Chille The third chapel is on an island in Loch Portree—the site and island are known as Eilean Chaluim Chille, the island of St. Columba. Excavated by Roger Miket in 1989, it has no burial ground and is only known to have had a handful of burials in the early eighteenth century (Miket undated:1). The chapel itself is a small rectangular stone structure orientated east–west and measuring 6 m by 3.5 m with a total internal area of 21 m² (Fig. 9). It is relatively inaccessible, since it can only be reached at low tide, and even then it is a slippery route across seaweed-covered rocks. It may be possible to reach the island by boat at high water, but at any other time a boat would probably run aground on the sand around the island. MacKenzie’s chart of 1776 and the Admiralty chart of 1851–1857 marks mud flats all around the island. Figure 9. Eilean Chaluim Chille from the east, Skye. 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 80 S. Thomas subsequently been developed during my ongoing postdoctoral research fellowship funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the University of Aberdeen. I am grateful for the guidance, suggestions and forbearance of my Ph.D. supervisors, Professor Stephen Driscoll and Dr. Martin MacGregor, and the examiners of my Ph.D., Professor Richard Oram and Dr. Michael Given. I have to thank the anonymous reviewers of my paper for their comments and feedback. I would also like to thank Dr. Barbara Crawford for taking on the role as guest editor. I am grateful to Dr Simon Taylor for suggesting Sts Mary, Clement, and Brendan as potential patron saints for sailors and travellers. Gilbert Márkus kindly confirmed that the “Commemorations of Saints in Scottish Place-Names” Project has not, so far, identified any Nicholas dedications in the Hebrides. Last but not least, I am very grateful to Dr Nicholas Evans for his constant support and encouragement. All mistakes and errors are of course my own. Literature Cited Primary sources Bliss, W.H., and Twemlow, J.A. 1902. Calendar of Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 4 :1362–1404. Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO), London, UK. Burns, C. 1976. Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland of Clement VII of Avignon, 1378–1394. Scottish History Society, Edinburgh, UK. Campbell, A. 1791–1799. Parish of Portree, anciently Kiltaraglaw. The Statistical Account of Scotland. William Creech, Edinburgh, UK. Pp. 138–162. Available online at http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/link/1791-99/ inverness/Porttree/. Accessed 21 September 2011. Cheney, C.R. 1984a. Manx Synodal Statutes, A.D. 1230(?)–1351, Part 1: Introduction and Latin Texts. Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 7:65–89. Cheney, C.R. 1984b. Manx Synodal Statutes, A.D. 1230(?)–1351, Part II: Translation of Latin Texts. Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 8:51–63. Deedes, C. (Ed.). 1916. Registrum Johannis de Pontissara Episcopi Wyntoniensis. The Surrey Record Society with the Canterbury and York Society, London, UK. Diplomatarium Norvegicum, Volumes I–XXI. Christiania. 1847–1995. (abbreviated DN). Dunlop, A.I., and D. MacLauchlan (Eds.). 1983. Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, Volume 4:1433– 1447. University of Glasgow Press, Glasgow, UK. Hingeston-Randolph, F.C. (Ed.). 1894–1897. The Register of John de Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter, (A.D. 1327–1369). George Bell and Sons. London, UK. Innes, C. 1854. Origines Parochiales Scotiae, The Antiquities Ecclesiastical and Territorial of the Parishes of Scotland. Volume 2, Part 1. W.H. Lizars, Edinburgh, UK. (abbreviated OPS). Kirk, J., R.J. Tanner, and A.I. Dunlop (Eds.). 1997. Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome Volume 5:1447– 1471. University of Glasgow Press, Glasgow, UK. likely to have been a possession of another church with no chapel in that location. Conclusion The centrality of the parish church for parochial life may well have been diminished in many parishes by the addition of chapels serving distant communities. However, not every chapel would threaten the status of the parish church, and most likely added to the diversity of religious practices. Many chapels such as those in the locational, cult, and private chapel categories would have been outside the parish structure and, at least theoretically, should not have impinged upon the rights of the parish church. The dependent chapels were perhaps the most important chapels in terms of their parochial status. The case studies of the parishes of Snizort in Skye and Kirkapoll on Tiree demonstrate that in many parishes there can be a number of different categories of chapel. Bile chapel and A’Chrois are the most likely candidates in the two parishes for dependent chapels, while Eilean Chalium Chille and Cill Fhinnein at Kenovay are probable cult chapels. The latter’s cult status is hinted at by its use as a burial place for infants. Neither parish had any private or locational chapels, but this is not necessarily surprising. If Tiree had had any private chapels, we might expect one to have been located in the vicinity of Island House, which lies in Soroby parish rather than Kirkapoll, while Snizort parish has no surviving archaeological evidence of later medieval elite settlement. The two parishes had quite distinctly different patterns of church and chapel distribution, which leads us to conclude that such patterns were inherently local, dependent on local needs and devotional interests. This paper has demonstrated that it is possible to identify different chapel types based on archaeological, toponymic, and locational evidence in addition to historical evidence. The English historical framework for chapel types has been used as a guide, but should not be viewed as set in stone; with further research on chapel sites, the four-fold classification may be modified. The classifications as they stand are quite broad and it may be that they require subclassification within some of the categories. Rather than seeing these chapels as replacements for the parish church, we should instead interpret them as examples of religious diversity. Acknowledgments This paper has its origins in the case-study chapters of my Ph.D., funded by the Carnegie Trust, and has 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 81 S. Thomas Beveridge, E. 1903 (reprinted 2000). Coll and Tiree: Their Prehistoric Forts and Ecclesiastical Antiquities. Birlinn, Edinburgh, UK. Brink, S. 1998. The formation of the Scandinavian parish, with some remarks regarding the English impact on the process. Pp.19–44, In J. Hill and M. Swan (Eds.). The Community, the Family, and the Saint: Patterns of Power in Early Medieval Europe. Brepols, Turnhout, Belgium. Caldwell, D.H. (Ed.). 1982. Angels, Nobles, and Unicorns: Art and Patronage in Medieval Scotland. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, UK. Caldwell, D.H. 2010. Finlaggan report 4: Chapel excavations. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, UK. Caldwell, D.H., and N.A. Ruckley. 2005. Domestic Architecture in the Lordship of the Isles. Pp. 97–121, In R. Oram and G. Stell (Eds.). Lordship and Architecture in Medieval and Renaissance Scotland. John Donald, Edinburgh, UK. Cant, R.G. 1984. Norse influence in the organisation of the medieval Church in the Western Isles. Northern Studies 21:1–14. Clancy, T.O. 2010. The big man, the footsteps, the fissile saint: Paradigms and problems in studies of insular saints’ cults. Pp. 1–20, In S. Boardman and E. Williamson (Eds.). The Cult of Saints and the Virgin Mary in Medieval Scotland. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, UK. Clancy, T.O. 1995. Annat in Scotland and the Origins of the Parish. Innes Review 46 Cowan, I.B. 1995a. The development of the parochial system. Pp.1–11, In J. Kirk (Ed.). The Medieval Church in Scotland. Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, UK. Cowan, I.B. 1995b. The Church in Argyll and the Isles. Pp. 129–143, In J. Kirk (Ed.). The Medieval Church in Scotland. Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, UK. Cregeen, E.R. (Ed.). 1964. Argyll Estate Instructions, Mull, Morvern, Tiree 1771–1805. Scottish History Society, Edinburgh, UK. Dawson, T., and S. Winterbottom. 2003. Airborne remote sensing and ground-penetrating radar survey: Coll and Tiree. Report for Historic Scotland, Edinburgh, UK. Donnelly, S., C. Donnelly, and E. Murphy. 1999. The Forgotten dead: The cilliní and disused burial grounds of Ballintoy, County Antrim. Ulster Journal of Archaeology 58:109–113. Finlay, N. 2000. Outside of life: Traditions of infant burial in Ireland from cillín to cist. World Archaeology 31:407–422. Fisher, I. 2001. Early Medieval Sculpture in the West Highlands and Islands. RCAHMS, Edinburgh, UK. Johnston, A. 1995. Norse settlement patterns in Coll and Tiree. Pp. 108–126, In B.E. Crawford (Ed). Scandinavian Settlement in Northern Britain. Leicester University Press, London, UK. Lelong, O. 2001. Kirkapol Old Parish Church, Isle of Tiree Project 1120. Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division, Glasgow, UK. MacBain, A. 1896. An etymological dictionary of the Gaelic Language. Northern Counties Printing and Publishing Co., Inverness, UK. Liber officialis Sancti Andree curie metropolitane Sancti Andree in Scotia sententiarum in causis consistorialibus que extant. 1845. Abbotsford Club. Edinburgh, UK. (abbreviated St Andrews Liber). MacColl, A. 1791–1799. Parish of Tiry. Pp. 393–418, In The Statistical Account of Scotland. William Creech, Edinburgh, UK. Available online at http://statacc- scot.edina.ac.uk/link/1791-99/Argyle/Tiree%20 and%20Coll/. Accessed 21 September 2011. MacLeod, M. 1791–99. The Parish of Snizort. Pp. 181– 189, In The Statistical Account of Scotland. William Creech, Edinburgh, UK. Available online at http://statacc- scot.edina.ac.uk/link/1791-99/Inverness/Snizort/. Accessed 21 September 2011. McGurk, F. 1976. Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland to Benedict XIII of Avignon, 1394–1419. Scottish History Society, Edinburgh, UK. Monro, D. 1999. A description of the Occidental, i.e., the Western Islands of Scotland c. 1549. In R.W. Munro (Ed.). A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland. Birlinn, Edinburgh, UK. Munro, R.W. (Ed). 1999. Martin Martin, A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland circa 1695. Birlinn, Edinburgh, UK. Munro, J., and R.W. Munro. (Eds.). 1986. Acts of the Lords of the Isles 1336–1493. Scottish History Society, Edinburgh, UK. National Library of Scotland. 1882. Ordnance survey map of Argyllshire, Sheet LXIV. Surveyed in 1878. Available online at http://maps.nls.uk/os/6inch/ view/?sid=74427351. Accessed 21 September 2011. NRAS3273. Lord MacDonald’s Papers, held at the Clandonald centre, Skye. Catalogue of the papers held by the National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS). Pottle, F.A., and C.H. Bennett. (Eds.). 1936. Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. 1773. W. Heinemann, London, UK. Raine, J. (Ed.). 1872. The register, or rolls, of Walter Gray, Lord Archbishop of York. The Surtees Society. Durham, UK. Stuart, J., A.J.G. MacKay, and G. Burnett. (Eds.). 1878– 1908. The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. 23 volumes. HMSO, Edinburgh, UK. (abbreviated ER). Thomson, J.M., et al. 1882–1914. Registrum Magni Sigilii Regum Scotorum. 11 volumes. HMSO, Edinburgh, UK. (abbreviated RMS). Twemlow, J.A. 1933. Calendar of Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 12:1458–1471. HMSO, London, UK. Secondary sources Adair, J. 1978. The Pilgrims’ Way, Shrines and Saints in Britain and Ireland. Thames and Hudson, London, UK. Addleshaw, G.W.O. 1953. The Beginnings of the Parochial System. St. Anthony’s Press, London, UK. Barrowman, R.C. 2005. Lewis coastal chapel-sites survey 2004/5. Department of Archaeology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK. 2015 Journal of the North Atlantic Special Volume 9 82 S. Thomas Maclean, A. 1999. Part II: Monuments in Stone, Song, and Story. Pp. 43–64, In C.B. Harman Nicholson (Ed.). The Highland Clan MacNeacail (MacNicol), A History of the Nicolsons of Scorrybreac. Maclean Press, Waternish, UK. MacLeod, F.T. 1910. Notes of Sculptured Monumental Slabs, An Undescribed Symbol Stone, Standing Stones, Brochs, and other Antiquities in Skye. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 44. Matheson, W. 1982. Notes on North Uist families. Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 52. Miket, R. Undated. A mediaeval chapel on St Columba’s Isle, Portree, Isle of Skye. Unpublished report held by Skye and Lochalsh Archive Service, Portree, UK. Orme, N. 1996. Church and chapel in medieval England. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society Sixth Series 6:75–102 Pounds, N.G.J. 2000. A History of the English Parish. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. RCAHMS. 1971. Argyll: An Inventory of the Monuments, Vol. 1, Kintyre, Edinburgh, UK. RCAHMS. 1975. Argyll: An Inventory of the Monuments, Vol. 2, Lorn, Edinburgh, UK. RCAHMS. 1980. Argyll: An Inventory of the Monumnets, Vol. 3, Mull, Tiree, Coll, and Northern Argyll. Edinburgh, UK. RCAHMS. 1982. Argyll: An Inventory of the Monumnets, Vol. 4. Iona, Edinburgh, UK. RCAHMS. 1984. Argyll: An Inventory of the Monuments, Vol. 5, Islay, Jura, Colonsay, and Oronsay, Edinburgh, UK. Reeves, W. 1854. Island of Tiree. Ulster Journal of Archaeology 12:233–244. Rennie, E.B. 1999. Ardnadam, Cowal, Argyll: Further thoughts on the origins of the early Christian chapel. Glasgow Archaeological Journal 21:29–43. Rogers, J.M. 1997. The formation of parishes in twelfthcentury Perthshire. Records of the Scottish Church History Society 27:68–96. Rosser, G. 1991. Parochial Conformity and Voluntary Religion in Late-Medieval England. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. Sixth Series volume 1:173–189. School of Art History, University of St. Andrews. 2008. Dull Parish Church. In A Corpus of Scottish Medieval Parish Churches. Available online at http://arts.st-andrews. ac.uk/~cmas/site.php?id=127244. Accessed15 September 2011. Scott, H. 1923. Fasti Ecclesiæ Scoticanæ, The Succession of Ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation. Volume 4. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, UK. Thomas, S.E. 2009. From Rome to “the ends of the habitable world”: The provision of clergy and church buildings in the Hebrides, circa 1266 to circa 1472. Unpublished PhD. Dissertation. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK. Thomas, S.E. 2010. The diocese of Sodor between Nidaross and Avignon-Rome, 1266–1472. Northern Studies 41:22–40. Thomas, S.E. In Press. From cathedral of the Isles to obscurity: The archaeology and history of Skeabost Island, Snizort. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 144:1–20. Tireeplacenames.org. 2011. Cladh Beag Thòmais. Available online at http://www.tireeplacenames.org/scarinish/ cladh_beag_thomais. Accessed 21 September 2011. Watson, W.J. 1926 (reprinted 2004). The Celtic Placenames of Scotland. Birlinn, Edinburgh, UK. Webb, D. 2000. Pilgrimage in Medieval England. Hambledon and London, London, UK. Webb, D. 2005. Domestic space and devotion in the Middle Ages. Pp.27–47, In A. Spicer and S. Hamilton (Eds.). Defining the Holy, Sacred Space in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Ashgate, Aldershot, UK. Wildgoose, M. 2000. Flood damage report on Skeabost Island, Skye. Unpublished report for Historic Scotland, Edinburgh, UK. Endnotes 1There are significant challenges to reconstructing medieval parish boundaries on Lewis because some of the parish churches are in completely different locations and few of the documents used to reconstruct boundaries in Skye and Tiree, for example, survive for Lewis. The figure of five or six miles is therefore an estimate based on the boundary lying halfway between the parish churches of Uig and Barvas. 2The sources for the data are the RCAHMS CANMORE database, the RCAHMS Argyll inventories and Barrowman’s (2005) Lewis Coastal Chapel-Sites Survey 2004/5. 3There are three cross place-names on Tiree and one on Coll. The second is A’ Crois which will be discussed below. The third, Crossapoll, has no associated chapel site and so is not discussed. On Coll the place-name, Crossapoll, is associated with a chapel and burial ground. All four place-names seem to indicate that there had at some point been a cross of some form standing in or near that location. The Coll place-name may also indicate that the chapel was dedicated to the Cross.