After Kilnave Chapel at Loch Gruinart, my dad and I made our way west. Pretty much at the end of the road was Kilchoman Churchyard. The church is derelict, with the windows bricked up and the roof fallen in.
It was built in the mid-1800's, and closed in 1974, when the population of the local area had dropped to almost nothing.
There had been a church on the site for centuries. The old one was torn down to make way for this one, and many stones from that era exist. We didn't see many of them, unfortunately, as they weren't marked as such. Many of them are all but illegible, anyway. One very old work is an eight-foot cross.
(click to embiggen)
This cross dates to the 1300's or 1400's. It wasn't until last night, when I did a little research on the place, that I discovered I never looked at the back. The front has this intricate Celtic scrollwork, but the back also has Christ on the cross, saints, angels, a horseman, people and an inscription in Latin! You can see it *here*
. This big cross was erected as a memorial. There is another cross a little ways out from the churchyard, that is much older, but we didn't know it was there. That cross is assumed to mark a place of sanctuary.
Mind the gap(s)
skulls & bones
Arch. Whyte. Notice the missing section.
There was a way inside. From photos online, It appears that in the early 2000's the church had most of its roof boards intact. In the late 2000's, it had only most of its beams intact.
If you look closely, you can see the roof slates carefully stacked. Why would they have removed the slates, and left the wood exposed to the elements? My guess is that they wanted to sell or reuse the slates and/or the beams (there's not that much lumber on the island, but the plan fell through.