Keills Chapel

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Keills Chapel

Keills Chapel is a small chapel located in the west Highlands, Scotland, near the village of Tayvallich, Knapdale.[1]

The chapel dates from the 11th century and is in the care of Historic Scotland[2] as is Kilmory Knap Chapel on the opposite shore of Loch Sween. It is open at all reasonable times and there is no entrance charge.

Keills Chapel[edit]

The name originates from the word keeill, meaning chapel. The re-roofed structure contains an important collection of early stone sculpture, including six early Christian cross-slabs, around forty late medieval grave slabs recovered from the chapel or churchyard, and a celtic cross which previously stood outside the chapel where a modern blank replacement now stands.[3] The original has been moved inside the chapel to protect it from the elements.

Keills Cross[edit]

The complete and well-preserved late 8th-early 9th century cross[2] is carved from local grey-green epidiorite. It is only decorated on one face, the sides and back being dressed smooth without further decoration. Its proportions are unusual, with very short side-arms broader than the shaft and upper limb. The latter shows the archangel St. Michael standing over a serpent (a symbol of triumph over the devil). The lower limb shows Christ on the Judgement Seat. He is holding a book, possibly the Bible or New Testament, symbolising mercy, in his left hand, and a flail in his right, symbolising judgement. There is a circular design at the crossing, with three round objects in the centre, which may symbolise the Holy Trinity. Around this are four animals representing the four evangelists.



  1. ^ "Keills Chapel: Overview". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Keills Chapel and Cross". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  3. ^ Cowie, T. G. (2010). "Excavation of the Cross Base at Keills Chapel, Knapdale, Argyll"Paid subscription required. Glasgow Archaeological Journal. Edinburgh University Press. 7 (7): 106. doi:10.3366/gas.1980.7.7.106. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°57′42.79″N 5°42′7.47″W / 55.9618861°N 5.7020750°W / 55.9618861; -5.7020750