Eaglais na h-Aoidhe

The crofting village of Aignish on the Isle of Lewis is home to the historic Eye Church (Gàidhlig: Eaglais Chaluim Chille or Eaglais na h-Aoidhe/Uidh). Last used for worship in 1829 and once the island’s foremost parish church, it stands on an earlier religious site said to have been founded by St. Columba’s contemporary, St. Catan (Eaglais na h-Aoidhe is said to have once housed his relics). The present ruined structures date from the XIV century with XVI century enlargements, including the raised unlit north wall and addition of a chapel/burial aisle with tomb recess on the west gable. In the chancel — burial place of the MacLeods of Lewis, formerly divided from the nave by a timber screen with loft above — two important graveslabs of circa 1500 stand against the walls. Carved in hornblende schist, one depicts a knight with pointed helmet, said to be Roderick, 7th Chief (d. c. 1498), the other, with an inscription to his daughter Margaret MacKinnon (d. 1503), an interlaced cross decorated with animals and foliage.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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