Keills Chapel

Architecture & Buildings

Keills Chapel is a small chapel located in the west Highlands, Scotland, near the village of Tayvallich, Knapdale. Its name originates from the word keeill. The structure contains a collection of early 13th century grave slabs recovered from the churchyard, and a celtic cross which originally stood outside the chapel where a modern blank replacement now stands. The original has been moved inside the chapel to protect it from the elements. The upper limb of the cross shows the archangel St. Michael stood on top of a serpent (a symbol of triumph over the devil). The lower limb shows Christ on the Judgement Seat (which is why his legs appear so short!). He is holding a book, possibly the Bible or New Testament, symbolising mercy, in his left hand, and a flail in his right, symbolising judgement. There is a circular design in the centre which could be a holly wreath, symbolising eternal life, with three round objects in the centre, which could be berries, symbolising the Holy Trinity. Around this are four animals representing the four evangelists. The chapel is in the care of Historic Scotland as is Kilmory Knap Chapel on the opposite shore of Loch Sween.