Colonsay & Oronsay, parish, aka Kilchattan

Grid reference

NR 362 950 (accurate position)

Six-figure easting & northing

136200 695000





Nearby places

Kilchattan, eccles. COO (Colonsay) (0 miles)

Lower Kilchattan, settlement, Colonsay (0.06 miles)

Tobar Chattan, Colonsay parish (0.09 miles)

Upper Kilchattan, settlement Colonsay (0.53 miles)

Cill Mhoire, eccl. COO (Colonsay) (1.03 miles)

Object Classification

Parish (extant in 1975)


NGR for the site of Kilchattan, eccl. (Colonsay). NMRS records: The remains of the pre-Reformation chapel, Cille Chatan, or Kilchattan - St Cathan's Chapel - standing on the site of its predecessor in its graveyard which was enclosed only a few years before 1880 and which is still in use. ... What is believed to have been the holy water stoup was found near the E end of the church, and is now used as a baptismal font in the parish church at Scalasaig (NR 38 94). The parish of Kilchattan in Colonsay is mentioned in 1632 (Orig Paroch Scot 1854). This church can be identified as that which served the medieval parish of Colonsay, known as Kilchattan in the post-Reformation period. The dedication was evidently to St Catan, and these slight remains, which appear to be comparable to Teampull a'Ghlinne, Colonsay (RCAHMS 1984, No. 390), can be ascribed to the later Middle Ages, possibly to the later 14th century. The church of Colonsay was confirmed to lona Abbey by a papal bull of 1203, but in the later Middle Ages the parsonage may have been attached to Oronsay Priory. (OPS 1854; Cowan 1967, the 1592 reference in the MS Register of the Privy Seal {SRO, PS 1/64, fol.20}, cited by Cowan {loc. sit} is a presentation of Donald MacDuffie, in succession to Malcolm MacDuffie, titular prior of Oronsay, to the parsonage and vicarage of 'Orvinsay', but probably refers to this church.) The parish church is mentioned by Monro in 1549, (Munro 1884) but it is not known how long the building remained in use for worship.

Parish TLA




Medieval diocese


Parish notes

The parish includes the islands of Colonsay and Oronsay. The church was confirmed to Iona in 1203, but was subsequently lost by that abbey, apparently having passed to the priory of Oronsay, which certainly held both parsonage and vicarage teinds in the parish, while a canon presumably served the cure (Cowan 1967, 34).