ASSYNT PARISH

 
Assynt, Elphin (AS-A)
Jun 1, 2003

The small graveyard at Elphin dates from the 1820s. The crofting townships of Elphin and Knockan expanded considerably in 1812 when they were resettled by many families cleared from elsewhere in the parish. With no road out, the people established their own graveyard.

This burial ground was visited in 2003 by Angi Lamb, Edinburgh,
who checked all transcriptions and took a full set of photographs.
Gallery includes few new photographs taken by Christine Stokes in 2005

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ASSYNT, Inchnadamph (AS-B)
Jun 1, 2003

This burial ground was visited by Christine Stokes, England and Sheila Mackay, Edinburgh, during June 2003.
A full set of photographs were taken and transcriptions read.
For over 600 years the parish church and graveyard of Assynt was at Kirkton. Also known by its Gaelic name of Bal na h-eaglais, Kirkton has now been subsumed within Inchnadamph, originally a separate settlement to the south.

The present church dates from 1743, although it was modified over the years and given a “cottagey” character in 1900. The 16th century burial vault of the MacLeod’s of Assynt may well have been attached to the medieval parish church of which no trace remains. A local trust, Historic Assynt, is busy raising funds for the much-needed repair of this very attractive little church and important burial vault.

None of the family of the Mackenzie’s of Assynt who took over from the ousted MacLeod’s of Assynt in the 1670s was buried at Kirkton. The graveyard, however, does contain the burial enclosure of the Mackenzie’s of Ledbeg and Royston, possibly on the site of the family’s 18th century chapel.

The parish church and school at Kirkton were ill-situated for serving the majority of the people after the clearance of the interior of Assynt had been completed in the early 1820s. However, the Sutherland clergy would not relinquish possession of the valuable glebe and it was not until 1898 that the church at Lochinver was declared to be the parish church.

Today Inchnadamph is a small hamlet on the A837 approximately 11 miles east of Lochinver. Until it was cleared in 1819 there was a sizeable population in the immediate area but there are less than 15 people living here today.

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ASSYNT- Lochinver (AS-C)
Jun 1, 2003

LOCHINVER BURIAL GROUND
ASSYNT
(our code AS-C)
Please note that with all our inscriptions all Mc and Mac names are shown as Mac.

Lochinver was visited, photographed and transcribed during 2003 by Edward R Paxton, Limpsfield, Surrey
Christine Stokes & Sheila Mackay also visited later the same year and now the gallery includes some new views around the burial ground taken by Christine in 2006

The graveyard in the village of Lochinver lies on the north side of the mouth of the River Inver. It is an old graveyard and stood on the farm or township of Inver, probably near to where there had been a pre-Reformation chapel. The place was anciently known as Inveralerot. In the 17th century, the parish of Assynt was sometimes referred to as the parish of Inver and Bal na h-eaglais or Kirkton, in recognition of the two principal ecclesiastical sites in the parish. The parish church was originally at Kirkton which is nowadays known as Inchnadamph (source unknown).

Lochinver was founded by the Sutherland family as a village in 1812. An inn was established early on but it was not until 1831 that a small church/school was built and a smith and joiner built new houses. The Church of Scotland Kirk was previously the St Ninian’s Church of England in Nairn, built in 1844-45. It was dismantled and brought round to Lochinver and re-erected in 1903 on the site of the old church/school and local coffee house (Malcolm Bangor-Jones, Historic Assynt).

Unlike many burial grounds in Sutherland Lochinver does not have very old stones. The condition of the burial ground is reasonable. There are very few broken stones. There was a quarry near Pollan in the early 1850s which produced 'special' stone - there are various gravestones in Lochinver and Inchnadamph made from it and also chimney pieces etc in Lochinver.

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ASSYNT - Nedd (AS-D)
Jun 1, 2006

Nedd Burial Ground, Assynt (our code AS-D)
Please note that with all our inscriptions all Mc and Mac names are shown as Mac.

The graveyard at Nedd lies up behind the crofting township. It is an old graveyard which served the district of Kyleside or “Slishchilles” on the northern coast of Assynt.

I, together with Sheila Mackay, visited Nedd Burial ground on a beautiful day in June 2006. This is a very beautiful part of Assynt which you will see from the photographs showing the views from the graveyard.

If you enjoy these photographs please take a minute to sign my guest book.

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ASSYNT - Stoer (AS-E)
Jun 1, 2005

STOER BURIAL GROUNDS (our code AS-E)
Please note that with all our inscriptions all Mc and Mac names are shown as Mac.
There are three graveyards at the crofting township of Stoer - all situated around each other - one surrounding the roofless church, one in a walled enclosure nearby and the current graveyard for Assynt down at the Bay of Stoer.
This burial ground was photographed in 2005 by Christine Stokes and Sheila Mackay. We revisited in 2006 when we took photographs of the ruined churchyard.
The following transcriptions are from the walled enclosure and the current graveyard.
There are a number of totally illegible stones here - see photographs at end of album. There are also a few I have not published as I believe I may be able to decipher them in due course.
See AS-F for those stones which surround the old church.

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ASSYNT - Stoer old church (AS-F)
Jun 1, 2006

Stoer Old Burial Ground, Stoer Church, Assynt
(our code AS-F)
Please note that with all our inscriptions all Mc and Mac names are shown as Mac.

The graveyard at Stoer was an old one, and it may well have been the site of a pre-Reformation chapel. The disused church dates from 1828 and is one of the “Parliamentary” church built by the Commissioners for Highland Churches according to a standard design. It was too small for the congregation when built and in summer church services were held out in the open. However, almost all the congregation left when the Free Church was established in 1843.

Christine Stokes and Sheila Mackay visited this old ruined churchyard in 2004 and again in 2006. Sadly it has now fallen into complete disrepair – both the church and the churchyard. I am afraid few stones can now be approached as the whole site has a danger, at your own risk, sign on it. We even discovered a rotten old dead sheep amongst the mess!

We have photographed and transcribed what we were able to do and relied on the earlier recordings by Cowper & Ross to fill in the gaps. There are a huge pile of broken old stones here. I fear it is now too far gone to be saved which is very sad. In situations like this we are all grateful to the dedication of Cowper & Ross!

Many of the stones still legible have been very deeply and expensively engraved leading to the thought that only the richer and more noted persons of this area were buried here.

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