Township: Balephetrish

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Meaning: ‘A chapel with its burial ground stood here, but it is very doubtful if it was dedicated to St Finnan (late sixth century), as the published name suggests. Adamnan (circa ad 700) mentions ‘Artchain’ in Tiree as being the location of a monastery founded by Findchan (late sixth century). This name is supposed to have passed into Ardkirknish. There are no satisfactory traces of the old chapel, but immediately to the north of the rocks is a comparatively level plateau with what may be the foundations of an ancient ecclesiastical building placed east and west. Or it may have been a little to the south, in a cleared space between the rocks and the road, where a few large blocks of stone stand erect as if part of a boundary of somewhat circular shape (E Beveridge 1903). The dedication was evidently to St Finnen, a ‘pet’ form of the name Findbarr. Because of its proximity to the place-name Ard Chircnis, the site has been mistakenly identified as that of the Early Christian monastery of ‘Artchain’, founded by St Findchan.’ (Canmore website, accessed 8/2015); Canmore ID 21511
Reeves suggested the saint’s name is Findchan (Reeves 1854, 240). However, the name is more likely to come from the British sixth century saint Uinniau > Finnan or Finnian (Márkus 2012, 119). There is a St Finnan’s Church in Ardnamurchan and a Kilfinan parish in Argyll (SP). See *Kilennan on Islay (Macniven 2006, 390)

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Information:Clearly marked as a burying ground (see Cladh Airde Chircnis) just north of the road and south of Cnoc Chrisnis. There are two rectangular foundations just to the south of the graveyard wall and two round structures. There are some raised stones on the Cnoc which may be the foundations of a wall - JH.

ONB p 58 - "applies to a small piece of green pasture land supposed to be an ancient burying ground. There are no remains in connection that would lead anyone to believe it to have been so."

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Languages : Unknown

Informants: OS Ist edition