Coupar Angus, Queen Street, Abbey Church

Abbey (12th Century), Architectural Fragment(s), Church, Gatehouse, Gravestone(s), War Memorial (20th Century), Effigy

Site Name Coupar Angus, Queen Street, Abbey Church

Classification Abbey (12th Century), Architectural Fragment(s), Church, Gatehouse, Gravestone(s), War Memorial (20th Century), Effigy

Alternative Name(s) Coupar Angus Church; Parish Church Of Coupar Angus; Coupar Angus Abbey; War Memorial

Canmore ID 30556

Site Number NO23NW 13

NGR NO 22327 39802

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Coupar Angus
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NO23NW 13.00 223 398.

For long cist found at the abbey, see For small finds from adjacent farm of Meadowside, see For former Coupar Angus church (now Bendochy parish church, at NO 2184 4145), see NO24SW 1.00.

NO23NW 13.01 NO 2230 3979 Coffins

NO23NW 13.02 NO 223 398 Archaeological Survey; Burial-ground ('Glebe Field')

NO23NW 13.03 NO 224 397 Pottery; Midden; Flint Scraper

NO23NW 13.04 NO 2248 3968 Linear Cropmark

NO23NW 13.06 NO 22323969 Manse

(NO 2234 3972) Abbey (NR) (Cistercian)

(NO 2233 3980) Church (NAT)

OS 6" map (1959)

For architectural fragments said to have come from Coupar Angus Abbey and now in the burial-ground at Kettins parish church (NO 2379 3904), see For architectural fragments built into Old Bridge of Dean (at NO 2878 4587), see NO24NE 13.01. For architectural fragments built into Easter Bendochy farmsteading (at NO 2215 4198), see For funereal slab and dressed and moulded stones probably from Coupar Angus Abbey and incorporated into Arthurstone House (NO 2620 4314) and dovecot, see NO24SE 69.05 and NO24SE 69.06 . For possibly-attached chapels at Ross (NO c. 210 220) and Polcalk (NO c. 247 213), see respectively.

The Cistercian abbey of Coupar was founded in 1161 or 1162 (I B Cowan letter to Easson, 1964). The church was dedicated 15 May 1233 (D E Easson 1957). The last abbot was imposed upon the abbey in 1529 and by 1607 the last of the monks had died (W Cochrane 1964). The church had a minister in 1611 but in 1622 the walls were in ruins. The rebuilt church was dedicated in 1686: work on a new church was started in 1859. All that remains of the abbey is a fragment of the gatehouse.

S H Cruden 1960; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1897

The remains of the abbey are as described above. The present church, known as Abbey Church, was built in 1859 and was superimposed upon the foundations of the original abbey church which was result in 1686 (W Cochrane, Abbey Church Manse, Coupar Angus).

Visited by OS (RD) 9 February 1969

All that remains visible of the Cistercian abbey of Coupar Angus is a ruinous gateway at the SW corner of the modern burial-ground adjoining the 19th-century parish church; the latter building stands upon the site of its predecessor, built in 1681, and may occupy the site of the abbey church. Within and around the parish church there are a number of architectural fragments of 13th- to 16th-century date and several carved stones, notably the grave-slab of Abbot John Shanwell (d.1506), the effigy of a knight, and the side panels of a tomb-chest with weepers comprising two knights, a man-at-arms, two figures in civilian dress and a sixth figure bearing an axe.

In the late 18th century 'digging at the west end of the church' revealed over twelve stone coffins (NO23NW 13.01) whilst in 1887 two more stone coffins and a possible long cist were found in the burial-ground ( ). Although monks from Melrose were established at Coupar before September 1162 and the full convent arrived in 1164, it was not until 1173 x 78 that William I granted a half ploughgate for the site of the abbey. There appears to have been a pre-existing parish church, the Bishop of St Andrews surrendering his rights in this church, but its site is not known.

Information from RCAHMS (JRS) 26 January 1993.

Architecture Notes

NMRS REFERENCE

Architect: John Carver 1859-60

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