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Lag ny Keeilley, Patrick

Period: Early Medieval

NGR Easting: 221680

NGR Northing: 474530

Description: Medieval chapel, burial ground and cell. The site was investigated by the Manx Archaeological Survey in 1908. It lies on a slight terrace within a steep cleft on the west side of a hill: the name means ‘the hollow of the chapel’.

The Survey found the chapel to be orientated east-west, with the door in the west gable. The structure measures 4 by 2.6m internally. The walls stand to a maximum height of 1.2m, but lean inwards as a consequence of the weight of collapsed material bearing on them outside. Removal of some of this material has revealed that the walls were strengthened historically, increasing their thickness to between 1 and 1.3m. The cills of the east window and the south window (close to the east end of the south wall) were recognised, and the fallen head of the east window was found when clearing rubble to reveal the base of the altar. The latter measures 1 by 0.6m and 0.3m high. A socket stone and lintel for the doorway were also discovered.

The chapel stands within an oval enclosure on a slight terrace, which was used as a burial ground - the site has produced a total of ten carved crosses which appear once to have served as grave-markers, though many of them were found built into the walls of the chapel.

The enclosure measures about 24 x 30m and has been artificially levelled by cutting into the slope on the east side. From this higher ground a bank has been extended about two thirds of the distance round the north end and a quarter of the way round the southern, thus defining the enclosure. An entrance from the south-east is marked by an upright stone, 1.2m high. The two cairns of stones marking the approach from the north are substantially modern.

Just below the enclosure on the north side are the remains of a small building which the Survey interpreted as the monk’s cell, and beyond lies a square enclosure partly formed out of a hollow in the hillside: no burials have been detected in this area. Its presence may be entirely coincidental and it may have been a fold for animals.

View map location on Archaeology Data Service

Site & Monument Type: Keeill

Category: National Monuments Record: Statutory Ancient Monuments

Site ID number: 1033.00


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