St Maol-luag's Chapel (Raasay)

Raasay | Inverarish | Church |

[St Maol-luag's Chapel (left) & memorial chapel (right)]

For an island the size of Raasay - and with a past population numbering several hundred - there seems to be a surprisingly small number of churches. St Maol-luag's Chapel is the closest place of worship to the island's main pier in Churchton Bay and was probably built in the 13th century, on the site of an earlier, 6th century church possibly founded by the Irish monk St Moluag. It was however abandoned following the Reformation of 1560, and is now very much a ruin. Arguably of more interest is the adjacent narrower building on the downhill side of the main building. This is a memorial chapel for the MacLeods, dating to 1839. Above the east window is a tiny but intriguing carving of a face - probably female, and possibly depicting the Virgin Mary - believed to have been reused from an earlier burial enclosure. We certainly don't advocate coming all the way to Raasay to seek out a pile of rubble and a lichen-covered face, but the chapel is within short walking distance of both the ferry terminal and the Raasay Pictish Stone.

[Inside the memorial chapel]

Location & info

📌 St Maol-luag's Chapel (Raasay)
By minor road half a mile (10-min walk) north of the ferry terminal, Raasay, G.R.: NG 548366 ///cover.lifeboats.poodle
Always open | Free

Getting to Raasay

Raasay is a small island reached by generally frequent, 25-min CalMac ferries from Sconser on the Isle of Skye. Cars are permitted, but are usually unnecessary for most tourists visiting the island's main attractions, which are all close to the ferry terminal on the south side of the island.

[Carved face - possibly the Virgin Mary]

[Memorial chapel]

[Ruined main chapel]


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