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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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alan Elder (14 months ago)
Great peaceful location. Interesting cravings
Cathy Henwood (2 years ago)
Great simple little chapel with wonderful carvings. Also worth taking a walk on to the end of the road. Stunning views
Dan Cornford (2 years ago)
A lovely quiet place, with stunning views and a lovely rugged landscape. We came back 3 times (I fished off the far point too, with some decent pollack caught).
owen lewis (2 years ago)
Stunning. We visited in a mahoosive hail storm. The comparative quiet inside was extraordinary.
Guy Nutting (3 years ago)
I liked it. It was very simple and some of the descriptions were a bit vague. Look at the monuments, read the descriptions and draw your own conclusions. There is a fine example of Early Christian imagery to have a close look at.
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