St. Clement's Church ( Tùr Chliamhainn )
Rodel, Rodel, United Kingdom
St. Clement's Church ( Tùr Chliamhainn ) Rodel Reviews
St. Clement's Church ( Tùr Chliamhainn ) Jul 27, 2012
One of the few man made sights of note on Harris, St. Clement's is about as far south as you can get on the island in the village of Rodel.
Built around 1520 as a Catholic church, dedicated to Pope Clement I , for the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod Of Dunvegan & Harris, it soon fell into disrepair after the Reformation in Scotland.
It has been restored a couple of times, the last time in 1873, and is made from local stone.
Entry into the church is through a small door at the side of the church, that the path leads you to anyway. Door is a bit stiff, and can give the impression it's locked, but I doubt it ever is, not in summer anyway, as Harris is the sort of place people still leave their houses unlocked.
Quite small,and dark, inside, with two transepts off it and in one are 4 grave stones that were brought inside to preserve them. In the other transept is a wall tomb.
There are two wall tombs in the main part of the church, which are among the oldest, and best preserved, in Scotland. The 'main' one though is the tomb of Alasdair Crotach, the 8th Chief of the Clan MacLeod, and the first Chief not to be buried on Iona. Not a very flattering name, as crotach is the Gaelic for hunchback, and is thought to come from his battle injuries that left him crippled for the rest of his life.
There is a good information sign beside the tomb that tells you what a few of the carvings around the tomb represent.
You can climb part way up the tower, though the stairway is really narrow, and the day we were in the light on the first landing was broken so it was dark as well. Used to be ladders you could climb up the top two stages, but even although the church is run by Historic Scotland, it is an unattended site and, no doubt Health & Saftey, means they can no longer have the ladders there.
Still used for weddings occasionaly, and according to my mum has great acoustics for singing, though she wouldn't do that when there were other people in :D
Nothing spectacular to see really, just a little bit interesting, but probably more significantly if you are spending time on Harris it is somewhere you can go and stay dry ;)
Part of the The Road To The Isles - Harris July 2012 travel blog
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