Cemetery bid concerns about undiscovered remains
A new bid to extend Lamlash cemetery could be delayed by work to evaluate possible undiscovered archaeological remains.
A planning application has been made by North Ayrshire Council for a change of use of neighbouring agricultural land to form a cemetery extension as well as the creation of a new access road, footpaths and a perimeter fence.
Following a previous objection and subsequent withdrawal of the application last year, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency has now confirmed that there will be no unacceptable impact on the water environment and it has withdrawn its previous objection to the proposals.
However, the West of Scotland Archaeology Service has in its submission made mention of the status of the chapel and ancient graveyards nearby as being scheduled ancient monuments recognised as being of national importance. And it says that further archaeological work on the proposed area would need to be undertaken to evaluate the area.
Its report states: ‘While no known archaeological features have been recorded from within the application area, the proximity of the church site immediately to the east, as well as the presence of other finds in the area dating from the prehistoric to Viking age suggests that previously undiscovered remains may survive within the application boundary.
This raises a potential archaeological issue which should be addressed when determining the application.’
The 9,581 square metre site will allow for a further 571 plots to be created in the cemetery, which is also known as the Kilbride Graveyard.
The ruins of the St Brides chapel, located on the existing site, are thought to date back to the 14th century and served as the St Brides Parish Church until the 1700’s. The earliest legible gravestone dates back to 1603.
There is also a large modern cemetery on the northern side which features a row of Second World War airmen’s graves as well as the grave of Colin Campbell whose son Dugald was the grandfather of author J K Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter books.
Undiscovered remains may be found on the proposed site of the cemetery extension.