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TITLE
The Church of St Clements, Harris
EXTERNAL ID
QZP99_94130_10_01
PLACENAME
Rodel
DISTRICT
Harris
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Harris
SOURCE
Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library
ASSET ID
38721
KEYWORDS
churches
cemeteries
graveyards
burial grounds
clan chiefs
The Church of St Clements, Harris

The church of St Clement's is situated in the village of Rodel, on Harris, and is one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in the Western Isles. It was originally built in the 1520s for the MacLeods of Harris and for many years was the burial place of their chiefs.

The MacLeods lived at Dunvegan, on the Isle of Skye, and the church was built at the closest point in Harris to Dunvegan. In the south wall of the nave is the elaborately decorated tomb of Alisdair Crotach, the 8th chief, which dates from 1528. The tomb shows scenes of the Castle in Dunvegan, various religious figures and biblical scenes, and a carved effigy of the chief himself.

Although the burial ground was still used after the Reformation the church fell into disuse and became a cow stable. The building was restored twice in the 1780s by Captain Alexander MacLeod of Berneray (the second time because of a fire) but fell out of use until restored once again by the Countess of Dunmore in 1873. The church is now in the care of Historic Scotland


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The Church of St Clements, Harris

INVERNESS: Harris

churches; cemeteries; graveyards; burial grounds; clan chiefs

Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library

I F Grant Photographic Archive

The church of St Clement's is situated in the village of Rodel, on Harris, and is one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in the Western Isles. It was originally built in the 1520s for the MacLeods of Harris and for many years was the burial place of their chiefs. <br /> <br /> The MacLeods lived at Dunvegan, on the Isle of Skye, and the church was built at the closest point in Harris to Dunvegan. In the south wall of the nave is the elaborately decorated tomb of Alisdair Crotach, the 8th chief, which dates from 1528. The tomb shows scenes of the Castle in Dunvegan, various religious figures and biblical scenes, and a carved effigy of the chief himself.<br /> <br /> Although the burial ground was still used after the Reformation the church fell into disuse and became a cow stable. The building was restored twice in the 1780s by Captain Alexander MacLeod of Berneray (the second time because of a fire) but fell out of use until restored once again by the Countess of Dunmore in 1873. The church is now in the care of Historic Scotland <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href="mailto: central.edsc.library@edinburgh.gov.uk">Edinburgh Central Library</a><br />