Kirkapol chapel excavation 2001

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Kirkapol Old Parish Church, Tiree (Tiree parish) O Lelong Medieval ecclesiastical site; burials (GUARD) NM 0423 4726
Excavation along the line of the E gable wall of the medieval old parish church at Kirkapol (NMRS NM 04 NW 2), was intended to expose the wall foundations beneath a large breach in the gable, which was to be rebuilt as part of a programme of consolidation. The excavation uncovered the disarticulated remains of at least ten individuals; many of the long bones, however, were aligned E–W, as if some care had been taken with their reburial to replicate the Christian rite. Below these, two articulated burials were exposed in sondages at the N and S ends of the trench beneath the gable wall. They had been laid in a small chamber built beneath the wall, defined by masonry faces at either side. After the burials were recorded, the disarticulated remains were replaced and the trench was backfilled to ground level. The chamber appeared original to the construction of the church, probably in the late 14th century. As the E wall of the church would have been considered an extremely holy and honourable place in which to be buried, the disarticulated remains may have been exhumed and reburied here after its construction. (GUARD 1120).
Sponsor: Tiree Heritage Society.

See also An Iodhlann cat. no. 2021.11.2

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