Cladh Chriosd, Pabbay, Barra

Grid reference

NL 607 874 (assumed location)

Six-figure easting & northing

60700 787400

Latitude

56.85380100219548

Longitude

-7.567651594641888

Altitude (metres)

5

County

Inverness-shire

Nearby places

St Columba's Chapel, Barra (Mingulay) (3.68 miles)

Cille Bhride, Barra (Sandray) (3.86 miles)

Cille Bhrianain, eccl. Barra (Vatersay) (6.24 miles)

Barra, island Barra (8.64 miles)

St Michael's Chapel, eccl. Barra (9.15 miles)

Object Classification

Ecclesiastical

Is linear feature?

No

Notes

This is the name of a burying ground on the island of Pabbay, Barra parish. The NGR given is that of the chapel site marked on OS maps, which we suppose to be the referent of the name. Carmichael records the following information about a stone font found at this site: "This font was for centuries an object of credulous belief to the inhabitants of Pabbay and the other southern Isles of Barra. These simple people implicitly believed that the touch of this font like that of another stone in S. Mary’s burying ground (Cladh Naomh Moire) [Cladh Mhoire, Beàrnaraigh/Berneray] in the neighbouring island of Bearnaray (Barra-Head) was efficacious in preventing and removing many mental and physical disorders incident to themselves and their flocks. The lixivium found in the font was considered doubly consecrated, firstly through contact with the already consecrated font, and secondly through the friendly agency of some invisible and mysterious power that presided over the scene. The virtues of this salinated water were deemed secondary only to those of the water consecrated by the priest. The people rubbed their bodies and their cattle with the font and sprinkled themselves and their flocks with the water contained therein, for the cure of certain bodily ailments and for the prevention of specific acts of witchcraft. And when this ceremony was duly performed with the necessary amount of formality and with the necessary admixture of pagan and christian rites, the people firmly believed that creative spirits of the air, nor the witches of the earth, nor the mermaids of the deep surrounding sea could infuse or molest them. ... For a number of years past the belief in the virtues of this charm has been falling into abeyance and now only two old men as far as I know can give an intelligible account of the faded glories of the primitive little font. (Carmichael Watson Project, GB 237 Coll-97/CW457)

Relationships with other parishes

Within Barra, parish aka Kilbarr