6.4 Keills Chapel & Graveyard, Keillmore
Keills Chapel sits up on a peninsular stretching out along the west side of Loch Sween. It dates from the 13th century but it is thought that people began worshipping here in the 8th century.
As with Kilmory Knap Chapel across Loch Sween, this chapel does not have a direct link to the story of Colmcille. But it does show that Christians were living here during the centuries after his death.
The chapel is home to a large collection of early and late medieval stones. The most striking is the Keills Cross which stands 2 metres tall.
From the chapel, there are stunning views of the sea loch and the islands of Islay and Jura.
With its simple rectangular shape, the chapel is similar to many built in the Western Highlands. The walls would have been covered both inside and outside with render and possibly some painted decoration.
The Keills Cross dates from the late 8th or early 9th century, reflecting the presence of Christian worshippers on this site.
The cross is carved on one side only. Four lions surround a central circular boss with St Michael represented above and a seated saint sitting below, at the top of the shaft. Below there are panels of interlace decoration and leaf scrolls.
There are graveslabs and crosses on display inside the chapel. Many are carved with decorative patterns, swords and symbols linked to the people commemorated in the stonework.
The Keills Cross was originally positioned on the slope beside the chapel. A replica marks the position of the cross, northwest of the chapel.
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