Township: Kenovay

Map Reference: Kenovay 6?- location unknown - Balephetrish or Kenovay

Name Type: church

Meaning: Kenovay | The antiquarian Ernest Beveridge, who visited the site in 1896, wrote: ‘The outlines of the churchyard are still distinct, and the foundation of the chapel are even more marked measuring 22 by 11 feet inside. (Beveridge 1903, 147) Cameron wrote: ‘The tradition latterly was that only unbaptised children were buried here.’ (MacDougall 1937, 88) Beveridge also reported: ‘A spot was pointed out as the site of the latest burial some sixty years ago [the 1830s].’ (Beveridge 1903, 147) The site seems to have functioned in the same way as cillín in Ireland (Thomas 2015).
However, the Canmore report is more circumspect: 'Chapel (possible) and Burial-ground, Kenovay: the remains of the former burial-ground of Kilfinnian comprise an enclosure of irregular pentagonal plan ... In the southeast quarter of the enclosure there are the turf-covered remains of a small oblong building, partly surrounded by a scatter of boulders which may represent burial-markers ... The orientation of the building lends some support to its identification as a chapel (OSNB 1878; E Beveridge 1903) but its remains are otherwise untypical of structures of this class. The burial-ground is marked on Turnbull's map of 1768’ ( accessed August 2015; Canmore ID 21428).
The chapel was apparently dedicated to the sixth-century Irish saint Uinniau. The proximity of another chapel dedicated to the same saint (see below) has not been explained.

Other Forms: Kilfinnan - Map of Tiree, reduced from a survey of the island by Langlands, in the possession of His Grace, The Duke of Argyll. Reproduced in The Island of Tiree by William Reeves, Ulster Journal of Archaeology, volume 2, 1854, p 233-244.

Cill-Fhinnain “Local tradition here seems to be correct when it says that only unbaptised children were buried here.” - Handbook to the Islands of Coll and Tiree, Hector MacDougall and Rev. Hector Cameron, Archibald Sinclair, p88.

Cill-fhinnein - ONB p77. "A faint mark of an old burying place in the district of Kenovay, where....?." John Gregorson Campbell, Mr MacQuarrie, Hynish, and Hugh MacLean, farmer, Cornaig.

Cladh Chill Finnein - HAMcC

Related Places: Note another Cill-fhinnein in Balephetrish, ONB p58 JH.


Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: W. Reeves, Ulster Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 2, 1854, p233-244, quoting Langlands' map.

Informant 2: OS

Informant 3: Hugh Archie MacCallum, Whitehouse, 2/2010