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Balnakeil Church, Durness

Posted by
Fran (Trumbull CT, United States) on 17 July 2015 in Architecture and Portfolio.

Balnakeil Church,Durness, is located in the far NW of Scotland. There was an important Celtic monastery here from the 8th century but the roofless church seen here dates to 1617. It was abandoned to decay in the mid 19th century when a new church was built. Some interesting figures are buried here. In the present church is the tomb of Donald MacLeod who "eliminated" enemies of the MacKay clan (allegedly 18 murders) by dumping their bodies down a waterfall by Smoo Cave. In the churchyard is a monument to the Gaelic poet Rob Donn (b. 1714) whose sometimes bawdy verse earned him the nickname of the Robbie Burns of Gaelic poetry. Also Elizabeth Parkes, aunt of Beatle John Lennon, is here. Lennon came to Durness often and his song "In My Life" is said to be based on his visits.