A Very Silent Church
On the Isle of Skye in Strath Suardal you can find the skeleton of this old Scottish Kirk. Know as Cill Chriosd (Christ’s Church). Dating back to some time before 1505 when the first written reference to the church was found,Cill Chriosd replaces a 7th century church for the Parish of Ashaig which was founded by St. Maol Ruadh.
Open roofed,and whilst some preservation has occurred,it is today a ruin. Nor is this unusual in the Scottish Highlands. The ruins of old churches are testament to a time when the Highlands prior to the clearances were more heavily populated with Parishes scattered across what is now bare landscapes. It does help paint a picture of those days when crofting, whilst hard, was a tradition.
There is a reason why so many of these ruined, and often roofless, churches are still standing…often in a walled or fenced surround is important.
These surrounds are more often than not graveyards, still with marker stones, these themselves showing there age. Important Graveyards are one of the Clan Traditions requiring the provision of Clan Burial Grounds. Here at Cill Chriosd it is for the Mackinnon’s of Strath.
As you travel across the Highlands, however remote you are sure to come across similar ruins. Far too many to stop and examine each and everyone but well worth the time spent on those that really catch your eye.
Cill Chriosd was replaced in 1804 by a new Church at Broadford. So the Congregation moved….but Cill Chriosd like many other old churches across the Highlands still take care of there long gone Parishioners.
(C) David Oakes 2018