Old Burial Ground, Kilkerran Cemetery, Campbeltown

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Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2024.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Old Burial Ground
Other Name(s)
Kilkerran Cemetery, Campbeltown
Planning Authority
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NR 72792 19354
Location Type
HS Reference No


Part of a substantial cemetery comprising a series of areas enclosed by random rubble walls, with old churchyard to NE, bounded by later cemetery to S and E, with early 20th century addition on hillside to SW. Old graveyard: c entral path flanked by enclosures, random rubble walls with ashlar copes and variety of decorative cast-iron railings, some with inscriptions on marble plaques. Enclosure to Lamb family with dwarf wall and iron grated roof. Further enclosures stretching along crest of hill to E, including; Random rubble coped enclosure to MacEacharn monument, high wall to rear with sandstone panel dated 1715 at centre flanked by fluted pilasters and with winged cherubs head superimposed on frieze. Stewart family enclosure, dated 1878, deep ashlar cope to dwarf wall surmounted by Gothick cast-iron railing, memorial at rear comprising 3 round-arched marble panels with inscriptions, frieze and cornice above surmounted by curvilinear pediment with floreate carving to pediment and flanking urns (left urn missing). Enclosure to MacFarlane family immediately comprising random rubble dwarf wall with ashlar cope and wrought-iron railing. Classical pedimented memorial at rear with architraved marble panels. To W, 19th century Celtic cross to Campbell of Kildalloig with foliate and animal carvings, and ashlar coped enclosure. To N, Strichen's Tomb (also known as the Mystery Tomb) ashlar block construction, corniced square base, barrel-vaulted interior accessed by round-arched opening with keystone, elongated pyramid over base with bolection-moulded frames to blank panels on each face.

Variety of gravestones, recumbent slabs and enclosures mainly from 17th century onwards around site of former kirk (remains no longer visible) including small headstones depicting figures, tools, animals, and classical motifs. Random rubble enclosure (without railings) comprising dwarf wall with ashlar cope, table slab at centre commemorating Rev James Boes. Polished grey granite memorial slab dated 1904 to James Macalister Hall of Tangy and Killean, mounted on corniced pedestal of stugged grey granite with sandstone ashlar dressings, cast-iron railings to enclosure. The church dedicated to St Ciaran is first recorded shortly before the middle of the 13th century, the medieval parish apparently embracing the eastern portion of the peninsula lying between Campbeltown Loch and Balnabraid Glen, together with Davaar Island. After the reformation, the parishes of Kilmichael, Kilchousland and Kilkivan were joined in 1617 to Kilkerran, the united parish afterwards being named Kinloch (or Lochhead), and subsequently Campbeltown. Ruins of the medieval church were still visible in the 1870's. The quality and historical interest of the stones in Kilkerran Cemetery reflects the important ancient history and more recent prosperity of this part of Argyll.( Historic Scotland)
Building Dates

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
The risk record soley to the older section of the graveyard and also excludes the 3 carved stones which are Scheduled Monuments.
Field Visits
29/10/2009, 25/7/2012, 05/12/2018
Development History
October 2009: Site inspection finds the older section of the cemetery overgrown and the surrounding walls damaged in places are requiring repointing. Gates are broken in places, monuments are overgrown and some are broken. Public access to the area has been restricted. The rest of the cemetery site is well maintained.
25 July 2012: Inspection finds no significant change from the previous site visit.
5 December 2018: Inspection finds the old burial ground remains in poor condition. Fallen masonry and damage to the boundary walls and iron railings is evident. There is extensive vegetation growths on the stonework and gravestones. Deterioration continues.

Guides to Development

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Planning Authority Contact
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Current Availability
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Occupancy Type
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Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
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Cemeteries and Graveyards
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