Clachan Comar

At Clachan Comar we find a ruined 17th century church set within a graveyard which was still in use into the 20th century. (Clachan, meaning stones, is the Gaelic word for a graveyard). The church is built on the site of an earlier church, possibly 10th century, which was dedicated to Saint Bean and known as Kilbeathan.

Today the burial ground appears quite isolated in the midst of farmland but this was not always the case.  Prior to the Clearances in the early 19th century the locality was well populated – a map from 1809 shows upwards of 80 buildings in four townships in what was known as the Davoch of Clachan.

Traditionally, there has been an annual  outdoor Mass held at Clachan Comar, dependant upon the availability of a Priest.

At the entrance to the ruined chapel at Clachan Comar, on the right side of the doorway is a v-shaped cut in the stone. Local tradition says that a sword thrust, aimed as the priest and parishioners were being forcibly evicted from the small church during an incursion into Strathglass by redcoats after Culloden, missed and hit the stone instead. The priest escaped across the fields on this occasion.

On the hillside across the road is St Bean’s Spring (Sputan Bhain) where in the early years of the twentieth century, coffin bearers arriving at Clachan Comar rested at the place where the spring reached the road. The water of the spring fell into a wooden basin, from which the holy water was obtained to sprinkle the coffins.  It was also the drinking supply for the nearby farm till the mid 1900s.

Clachan Comar is maintained by a small dedicated group of parishioners  and in recent times they have fenced off the access way and had repairs carried out to the dry stone walls.  There has also been discussions as to replacing the roof of the old chapel.