Kilmartin Grave Slabs

Kilmartin Grave Slabs


23 August 2018


Kilmartin, Argyll and Bute
NR 83445 98841; 56.13297°N, 5.48649°W


Kilmartin Stones are a collection of decoratively carved grave-cover slabs dating from the 13th to the 18th centuries. 23 slabs are on view in a shelter in the churchyard of Kilmartin Parish Church. Such grave covers were something of a status symbol for the local West Highland warrior class, with common themes for the carvings being swords and effigies. Other common motifs include hunting scenes, shears and fabulous animals.

The stones were moved inside a shelter in 1956 to protect them from the weather. This lapidarium was originally a mausoleum and was built in 1627 for Neil Campbell, Bishop of Argyll, and his wife Christine, daughter of John Carswell, who built Carnasserie Castle.

The collection is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.

Further Reading

Kilmartin Stones (Historic Environment Scotland)

Kilmartin Grave Slabs

Kilmartin Grave Slabs

Kilmartin Grave Slabs

Kilmartin Grave Slabs

Kilmartin Grave Slabs

Poltalloch Enclosure, Kilmartin Grave Slabs.
The seven grave slabs in the enclosure date from the 14th or 15th centuries, with the exception of one dated 1685. The stones were reused probably after the Malcolms of Poltalloch bought the Campbell of Kilmartin estate in 1827.

14 thoughts on “Kilmartin Grave Slabs

  1. This is so cool, Graham, it’s almost enough to make me want to jump on the next plane. The designs, the stone, the size, the age, altogether they speak volumes. Beautiful, thank you.

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