Keeills served a variety of purposes – family chapels, wayside shrines, places of retreat and hermitage. There have perhaps been as many as 250, but remains, or known sites, survive for less than half this number.
The keeills were small buildings of earth and stone, very rarely bigger than 3 metres by 5 metres internally, and now survive to a height of less than a metre.
None of the remains can be shown to be older than the eighth century, but the sites and burials can date back to the sixth century, or earlier.
Lag ny Keeilley Chapel Hollow This isolated keeill was built on an artificial platform beneath Cronk ny Irree Laa. Its spectacular location looks over to Ireland in the west and Scotland in the north. Lintel [...]
Kirk Maughold The oval graveyard at Maughold encloses the remains of a 7th-century Celtic monastery and at least four keeill sites. Banished by Patrick in the late 7th century Macuil or Macutus or Maughold was [...]
Chapel Hill, Balladoole - Keeill Vael With traces of Mesolithic occupation and a Bronze Age burial, this site developed as a small, defended Iron Age fort with commanding views over the south of the Island [...]
Cabbal Pherick St Patrick’s Chapel Set within a burial ground, the large keeill at Cabbal Pherick is built from seashore boulders and may have been thatched. There are traces of the altar in the east [...]