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15th Century Church - St Clements

15th Century Church - St Clements
Event Date: Monday, December 2, 2013
Contact For More Details: See_description

Event Area:
Rodel - Isle of Harris

15th Century Church - St Clements


The 15th century church of St Clements is situated on the side of a hill in the village of Rodel on the Southern coast of Harris.


It is the ancient burial grounds of the Macleod clan and also of the “Fairy Flag”, a magical flag taken into battle by the Macleods for good luck. The bearer of the flag when killed in battle was placed beneath the floor of the church on a metal rack, when his successor died the rack was shaken making room for the next body.


Inside the church on the tombs and flagstones are some of the oldest remaining medieval engravings There are more on the outside of the church. The church is closely related to the Augustinian nunnery on Iona and the female effigy of Sheila na gig can be found on the south wall of the church with a replica found on the outer wall on Iona.

Sheila na gig is the Goddess of fertility and of life and death. She depicts the opening of life while her body is that of the crone. She represents the doorway to our sacred selves, our deepest fears and our creative energy.

Sheila na gig


A stone staircase and then two ladders takes you to the top of the tower where views of the Minch between Harris, Uist and the mainland can be seen, and indeed were watched by the Macleods against any potential invaders.


For many years in the 1700’s the church was in ruins and used as a cow shed. It was restored in 1784 but unfortunately caught fire while work was in progress, and restored aging in 1787 but again fell into disrepair until 1873 when the Countess of Dunmore had it restored once again.


St. Clements Church
Isle of Harris.
Western Isles




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