St Clement’s Church, Rodel

Harris, Scotland.  Day 9, 7th July.

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St Clement’s Church, Rodel

St Clement’s Church at Rodel was built on the site of a much earlier church in the 1520s.

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I was running out of time when I came to this church and I did not climb the tower.  I had made the mistake of staying at an establishment that served dinner which was all very wonderful except that I had to be there from the other side of the island at 7pm.

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The near tomb is that of Alexander MacLeod, eighth MacLeod laird of Skye and Harris, who lived at Dunvegan Castle on Skye.  It dates from 1528.  He was also known as Alasdair Crotach or Humpback.  The far tomb is that of Alexander’s son William, who died in 1551, though a date on the tomb probably reads 1539.

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The oldest part of the church possible dates to the 13th century and it was renovated and extended in the 15th and 16th centuries.  St Clements was a Catholic church and fell into disuse in 1560, due to the reformation.  The roof was restored in 1784 and again in 1787 after a fire.  It was used as a cow byre for a while in the nineteenth century and restored again in 1873.

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Click to zoom in.

You can click any image to see it larger.  With this one I have included the full detail in case you want to see exactly what is carved in the tomb.

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Five grave slabs.  The left four date from the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries and were originally on the church floor.  The far right one has a date of 1725 and the initials are probably for Roderick Campbell and his wife Anne MacSween..

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Another tomb under the window, probably belonging to John MacLeod of Minginish, the 10th laird.

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South Harris (south coast)

South Harris (south coast)

I headed back by a minor road along the south coast.  I was running very short of time and for some of these I merely stopped the car and took them through the open window.

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South Harris (south coast)

South Harris (south coast)

This is a very rocky region with little opportunity for agriculture.  Historically, most income must have come from the sea.

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South Harris (south coast)

South Harris (south coast)

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South Harris (south coast)

South Harris (south coast)

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South Harris (south coast)

South Harris (south coast)

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South Harris (south coast)

South Harris (south coast)

I remember taking this from the car window (though the car was stopped).

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6 comments on “St Clement’s Church, Rodel

  1. leecleland says:

    Wonderful photos, mine are no where near as good. That’s the trouble of getting a new camera (DSLR) after having a point & shoot for 8 years. I stayed close by near the ferry wharf which meant the Butt of Lewis and all that other stuff was a long drive each day. But a fascinating and wild place.

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    • Murray Foote says:

      I didn’t get up in the tower so I don’t know what I missed out on there. If I go there again I’m likely to stay at Calanais. It’s close to the stone circles and Carloway Broch; there is a pub nearby with great meals and it is pretty central to the island.

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    • Murray Foote says:

      Well, the ones inside the church are HDRs, so many images are combined because of a very variable tonal range and they’re taken on a tripod. I don’t know if you clicked the indicated one to zoom in but the D80 really comes into its own here and the detail is amazing.

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      • leecleland says:

        I’ll have to go back and review my photos but I think the tower had good views but nothing much else in it. Not like the tombs and carving downstairs. I took detail shots of Alexander’s tomb but back then didn’t know anything about HDR. The clarity in your HDR is amazing.
        I have a D7000 with good lenses (not the kit ones) which I though would be all I need but I can see the difference a full frame camera makes to the sharpness and tonal range of the image. The D80 seems to be the one most landscape photographers go for so now thinking hard about upgrading 🙂

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      • Murray Foote says:

        The D7000 should be pretty good. It’s not just about the camera, there’s also post-processing. There’s clarity as well as sharpening in Lightroom and for the ones that are HDR there’s also micocontrast to play with (depending on the HDR software).

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