St Michael's Chapel, eccl. Barra

Grid reference

NF 647 016 (accurate position)

Six-figure easting & northing

64700 801600





Altitude (metres)




Nearby places

St Brendan RC Church, Barra (0.69 miles)

Barra, island Barra (2.35 miles)

Cille Bhrianain, eccl. Barra (Vatersay) (3.81 miles)

Kilmoire, eccles., Barra (4.69 miles)

Barra, parish aka Kilbarr (5.08 miles)

Object Classification



Is linear feature?



There is confusion about the dedication of this chapel. According to NMRS "The OS dedication to St Brendan was authorised by a Mr McKinnon of Borve and Mr McMillan, a shepherd; the description is simply 'ruin of an ancient chapel'. But OSA xiii, 335 gives the dedication of the chapel at Borve as to St Michael, and this is the dedication given also by OPS (1854). It is worth considering that the name Brendan got wrongly attached to this ancient church by the surveyors, or by their informant, by confusion with St Brendan's Church nearby. This was built in 1858 'a small, gothic-windowed box built by communal effort to replace a chapel of 1805' Mary Miers, "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", 2008. NMRS records a surviving chancel and nave, and a nearby group of stone-line graves uncovered by a storm. On the cult of Michael in Barra, see Martin Martin: 'They have likewise a general cavalcade on St Michael's Day, in Kilbar village, and do then also take a turn round their church. Every family, as soon as the solemnity is ended, is accustomed to bake St Michael's cake ... and all strangers, together with those of the family, must eat the bread that night' (1703, 164).

Relationships with other parishes

Within Barra, parish aka Kilbarr