Page last updated at 08:45 GMT, Thursday, 23 October 2008 09:45 UK

Clue to medieval church uncovered

Carved stone. Pic: HAS
The carved sandstone could date back to the 14th Century

Archaeologists have found a carved sandstone fragment believed to be part of a medieval church in Ross-shire.

Highland Archaeological Services said the piece provided a link between an 8th Century monastery and 17th Century church at Tarbat, Portmahomack.

The remains were uncovered during Scottish Water's 3m project to replace mains pipes in the area.

The fragment is part of a column decorated in gothic style and could date back to the 14th Century.

Archaeologist Cait McCullagh said: "We believe it is a very important discovery.

"As far as we know, no other elements of the structure of a later medieval church on this site, dedicated to St Colman, have been found."

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