Township: kilkenneth

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The chapel at Kilkenneth

Photograph of the ruins of the chapel at Kilkenneth in 2001


Courtesy of Rev. Robert Higham

The ruins of a small chapel dedicated to St Cainnech lie in the sand-dunes at Kilkenneth. Like the other remaining medieval chapels on Tiree, it was built from lime-mortared local rubble. Oblong in plan, it measures 8.7 by 3.1 metres within walls three-quarters of a metre thick.

The entrance is situated in the west gable-wall, of which a large part has collapsed. The chapel was lit by two slit-windows opposite each other in the side walls near the east end of the building.

The Statistical Account of 1794 records that at the chapel was ‘a burying ground so sandy, that, by blowing, heaps of human bones are seen, and coffins often exposed, before half consumed. It is now surrounded by sand banks higher than the side walls; they no longer bury there.’

Colour photograph of the Kilkenneth chapel in 2001.

The chapel at Kilkenneth, photographed in 2001.


En route to Kilkenneth in 1925

Photograph of the MacKinnon family and friends on their way to Kilkenneth by horse and cart in 1925.


Courtesy of Mrs Annie MacPhee

Donald and Mary Flora MacKinnon of Balephuil are pictured here with their five children and friends Mr and Mrs Graham on their way to Kilkenneth on a visit in 1925. The MacKinnon family emigrated to New Zealand in 1927.

Donald was employed as a blacksmith at Maraekakaho Station near Hawkes Bay. The station had been established by another Tiree man, Sir Donald MacLean, Minister for Native Affairs from 1869 to 1876, who, with his son Douglas, transformed over 50, 000 acres, much of it rough ground and swamp, into a model farm.

In the 1880s the woolshed at Maraekakaho was the largest in New Zealand and could house 5,000 sheep under cover. Over 100, 000 sheep were sheared there each year. After the death of Sir Donald’s son in 1929, the station was broken up into individual stock and dairy farms.

Photograph of the MacKinnon family en route to Kilkenneth from Hynish in 1925.

L-R: Donald MacKinnon, Balephuil (at head of horse); Norman Graham; Donald`s wife Mary Flora, (see L88); Mrs Graham holding baby Mary; children Sarah (barely visible), Annie (MacPhee), Dolly and Hugh. Taken in 1925 en route from Hynish to Kilkenneth. Donald and Mary Flora emigrated to New Zealand in 1927.


Nine Transcripts of Feis lecture `Columba`s Other Island?` given by Prof. Donald Meek in 1997.

St. Columba and early Christianity in Tiree.


Photocopied book extract `List of Inhabitants of Tyree and their Age in September 1779` edited by Eric Cregeen.

The inhabitants listed by township and family.

Click here to view extract 1997.54.1 Cornaigmore

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