Saints and Stones: Cille Bharra

Little remains of the 12th Century church of Cille Bharra (also called by its anglicised name of Kilbar Church): a few walls with their gables missing, a doorway and arch in one of the walls, and the few stone remains of the south chapel.

The only intact building on the site is the ca. 16th Century North Chapel. Inside the Chapel is a replica of the famous 10th Century Christian-Nordic Kilbar Stone that once was located in the graveyard. On one side of the stone is a cross, and on the opposite side is a Norse runic inscription that reads "This cross has been raised in memory of Thorgeth, daughter of Steinar." During the 9th Century, Barra was raided and later settled by the Vikings who adopted Christianity. The original, much to the chagrin of the locals, is in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

It has been speculated that the 12th Century ruins lie atop an earlier chapel dating back to the 7th Century A.D. and dedicated to St Finbarr, the 6th Century Bishop of Cork in Ireland. Legend has it that he preached in, among other places, Barra.

About Cille Bharra

Undiscovered Scotland: Cille Bharra
Undiscovered Scotland: Eoligarry (E˛laigearraidh)
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Finbarr
Wikipedia: Finbarr of Cork

Journey to Cille Bharra

Cille Bharra is located north off the A888 near the village of Eoligarry (E˛laigearraidh) -- and about one mile north of the Traig Mhor Airfield -- near the northern tip of the Isle of Barra, Western Isles, Scotland.

Streetmap UK NGR NF705073.

Visitors Information

Visitors information on Cille Bharra may be found on the Isle of Barra website. General tourist information on the Isle of Barra may be found on the Outer Hebrides website.

Additional Photos of Cille Bharra

Cille Bharra
12th Century Remains (left) and 16th Century North Chapel (right) at Cille Bharra
12th Century Chapel Remains at Cille Bharra
Archway in Wall Ruins
Remains of 12th Century Wall
Cille Bharra Ruins
12th Century Doorway Entrance Ruins
Holy Water Well at Cille Bharra
Chapel Interior
10th Century Kilbar Stone Replica in Center
Front of Kilbar Stone
Back of Kilbar Stone
Cille Bharra with the Sound of Barra in the Background

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