Situated on the shore of Loch Linnhe are the remains of Keil Chapel and burial ground. The chapel has been identified as late medieval and is dedicated to St. Columba. The chapel ceased to be a place of worship from 1630 onwards however the burial ground was still in use in the 19th century. The Friends of Keil group became concerned about the site after a graveyard survey identified unique gravestones. The group have been monitoring the site for the last two years and contacted Adopt-a-Monument for help with improving access to the site and erecting an interpretation panel. The site is designated as a Scheduled Monument and Category B Listed structure and therefore Adopt-a-Monument assisted the group to get the relevant permissions to complete the work proposed. The remains of James Stewart, or better known as James of the Glen or Seumas a’Ghlinne, lie within the burial ground. The association with James of the Glen has long made Keil Chapel a prominent location within the landscape and is regular attraction for visitors to the area, despite the site not being actively promoted.
The original access to the site (via a wooden gate) had been temporarily blocked up to prevent access for local grazing animals and the site was only accessible via a stone stile built into the wall. The stile restricted access to visitors with mobility issues and was liable for slips during the winter months. The group worked with Adopt-a-Monument to install a small hand rail up to the site, and replace the original wooden gate. The group have also installed an interpretation panel on the gate, promoting the unique gravestones and James of the Glen. Throughout the Adopt-a-Monument project, the group have actively managed vegetation on site and monitored the condition of the chapel stone work.
The Friends of Keil Chapel have also fully recorded the graveyard, the results of which can be downloaded below. If you are looking for a particular gravestone – open the document labeled ‘Introduction’. This document contains a plan of the site divided into 11 areas. Find out which area you need to go to and then open the associated area document (also listed below).
If you want to find out more about the site, get in touch with the Adopt team at firstname.lastname@example.org