Duff House, Mausoleum And St Mary's Well

Chapel, Holy Well, Mausoleum, Monastery

Site Name Duff House, Mausoleum And St Mary's Well

Classification Chapel, Holy Well, Mausoleum, Monastery

Alternative Name(s) Carmelite Monastery; Our Lady Chapel; St Mary's Chapel; Duff House Estate; Duff House Policies

Canmore ID 18468

Site Number NJ66SE 8.4

NGR NJ 68043 62826

NGR Description NJ 68043 62826 and NJ 67974 62786

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Banff
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Banff And Buchan
  • Former County Banffshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ66SE 8.04 68043 62826 and 67974 62786

(NJ 6803 6282) Mausoleum on site of St Mary's Chapel (NR)

(NJ 6797 6278) St Mary's Well (NR)

OS 6" map, (1938)

See also NJ66SE 93 and NJ66SE 103.

Our Lady Chapel near Banff was bestowed upon the Carmelite Friars in 1321 by Robert I who confirmed it to them in 1324 along with land for the erection of a church and monastery.

In 1574 James VI granted the lands, buildings and revenues formerly belonging to this house to King's College, Aberdeen.

D E Easson 1957.

This is the actual site of the convent of the Carmelites. It is confirmed locally that the foundations of the old church or chapel of St Mary were where the Fife Mausoleum now stands. The churchyard is described as having been of large extent.

A G Smith 1895.

The water of St Marys Well is piped into a small stone basin on the pathway beneath. This basin was probably the holy water font belonging to the chapel for it is said to have been dug out of its ruins.

A Chisholm 1884.

No traces of St Mary's Chapel can now be found. The Mausoleum built on the site is probably of early 19th century date.

St Mary's Well consists of a wall of mortared stone c.5.0m long and c.1.4m high built in to the natural slopes at NJ 6797 6278. In the centre of the wall is a small stone lined U-shaped niche at the bottom of which is a pool of water. A narrow stone ledge runs along the face of the wall on either side of the Aisle.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 5 October 1961.

Site as described by Johnston (1961). Against the W wall of the Fife Mausoleum, probably built c.1750 at the same time as Duff House (information from Mr R Cairns, Banff Education Department), there is a medieval tomb or monument with reclining figure, incorporating a modern plaque verifying the information provided by Easson (1957).

Mr Cairns believes that the Carmelite Monastery was probably in the vicinity of Carmelite Street in Banff, possibly at 6898 6397 where a pieta was unearthed during excavations for a new building some years ago. The pieta is in Banff Museum.

Visited by OS (NKB), 1 February 1968.

Architecture Notes

NJ66SE 8.04 68043 62826 and 67974 62786

BUILT: 1791.


Robert Brydall drawings (large) - 1 drawing of slab; 1 drawing of effigy; 2 prints.


National Library

'Lord Fife and his Factor' by Alistair and Henrietta Taylor



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