Keills Chapel is a simple, rectangular chapel dedicated to St Cormac. It is one of few churches from the 1100s and 1200s surviving in Argyll. The chapel served as the parish church of Knapdale until the parish was split into two in 1734.

The church site contains almost 40 carved stones, ranging in date from the 8th to the 16th century. Pre-eminent among them is the 8th-century Keills Cross. This free-standing, ring-headed high cross, carved from blue slate, stands some 2m high. Only one face is decorated. Panels of spiral ornament, animals and key-interlace decorate the shaft. The centre of the cross-head has a raised, circular boss hollowed in the middle. The cross was most likely made by a craftsman from Iona, where three more fine high crosses can be seen.

The collection also includes fragments of another early Christian free-standing cross and four early Christian, cross-decorated grave-slabs. The remainder comprises late-medieval sculpture, mostly grave-slabs. These are generally long, tapering stones decorated with a variety of motifs, among them swords, targes (shields), crosses and craftsmen’s tools. The impressive collection of grave-slabs includes examples from all five ‘schools’ of sculptors working for West Highland patrons in the later Middle Ages (1300s—1500s). These sculptors worked in Knapdale as well as at Iona, Loch Awe, Kintyre and Loch Sween.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Katie Luxmoore (3 years ago)
It's not much but honestly, what were you expecting? The scenery is gorgeous; the weather not usually so, and depending on the quantity of rain and cows over the past couple of days, you may need wellies for the experience. The path up to it is steep and can be muddy but is always well mown. There's also access via a bumpy track further up the road which isn't steep or as muddy but it's a longer distance. Alternatively (and my personal favourite) you can gallivant down from over the ridge, hopping over the fences and heather like a spritely deer.
Master Chief (3 years ago)
Keep an eye out for it. Easy to miss it Lovely setting.
Elizabeth Vause (3 years ago)
I love keills it my favourite place it lovely chapel well looked after .plenty off wildlife specially if you like otters I sit there for hour watching them so nice peaceful
Mark Gilborson (3 years ago)
What a amazing little place, beautiful inside.
William Peck (3 years ago)
A very beautiful, remote chapel overlooking the Sound of Jura. The inside is now small museum which houses some ancient religious stonework, and is very interesting if you're into your history. You have to open some gates on the drive which adds to the remoteness of the site. Keep walking past the chapel into Keillmore to a small jetty... if you're lucky you may spot Sea Otters playing in the bay.
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