Keills is at the end of a long peninsula in South Argyll. OS map

In the panorama above, looking East to North, you can see the jetty at Keillmore, with the island of Jura just about visible in the mist on the far side of the Sound of Jura.

Google street view shows the chapel in the distance, on the other side of the ridge from the jetty:

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This view (below) is facing south across Loch na Cille. The plain modern cross replaces a stunning early medieval high cross that used to stand there, but which has now been moved inside the chapel to protect it.

The view south through the chapel window. The chapel was abandoned after the Reformation, but was restored and re-roofed in 1978 to shelter the amazing collection of 15th century carved and inscribed stones inside.

One of the grave slabs bears a carved harp along with other items: a sword, a lion, a griffin, a box or chest, shears, and other objects. It is inscribed "...Ocuyn fecit me fieri" and "hic iacent ... et Allanus eius filius".

The lion, the casket or box, and the griffin:

The slab was described and illustrated in 19th and early 20th century books. These old drawings show a lot more detail than is visible today - it is amazing how much erosion there was between 1850 and 1978. Of especial interest is the decoration on the harp, comparable to that on the Trinity College harp and the Queen Mary harp.

L-R: Stuart 1867, White 1875, Armstrong 1904, & today

Stuart, Sculptured Stones of Scotland my photo

Here’s a serendipitous stereo pair, showing the relief carving quite well. Sorry that the lighting in this anaglyph is not consistent.

Red/cyan goggles required for 3D viewing


J Stuart, The Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol.ii, pl.lvii. 1867

T P White Archaeological Sketches in Scotland, Knapdale and Gigha, pl.xxxvi (2), 1875

Robert Bruce Armstrong, The Irish and Highland Harps, Edinburgh 1904


RCAHMS info & photos on the high cross

RCAHMS info & photos on the chapel and stones

Info & photos from Wikipedia

Info from Knapdale People

Click here for other old depictions of Gaelic harps and harpers.

Keith Sanger's photos and information, from the Wire Branch of the Clarsach Society.

Thanks to Karen Loomis for the White engraving. Thanks to Keith Sanger for first drawing my attention to this stone.

Simon Chadwick