Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Kiltearn Parish Church

Church (Period Unassigned), Churchyard (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Kiltearn Parish Church

Classification Church (Period Unassigned), Churchyard (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Kiltearn Old Parish Church

Canmore ID 13651

Site Number NH66NW 1

NGR NH 61658 65226

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Kiltearn
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NH66NW 1.00 61658 65226

(NH 6165 6522) Church (NAT)

OS 6" map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907).

NH66NW 1.01 Centred NH 61660 65207 Burial Ground

See also NH66NW 15.


Pulpit installed in Lochgoilhead Kirk, Argyll in 1955.

The interior of this ruinous Category B Listed church has been stripped.

(Undated) information from Demolitions catalogue held in RCAHMS library.

Kiltearn church was built in 1791, but its particularly inconvenient situation suggests that the site is that of an early church (NSA 1845), possibly Culdee (Bain 1899).

Said to be dedicated to St Tighernac (Macrae 1923). (But see NH66NW 15).

New Statistical Account (NSA) 1845; R Bain 1899; N Macrae 1923.

Kiltearn Parish Church has been disused for about twenty years. It is still roofed, but the slates are soon to be removed for safety (Information from Mr Macrae, Sexton, Kiltearn parish church).

On the outside of the east wall of the church, part of a former arch can be seen, probably belonging to an earlier church. There are several 17th and 18th century gravestones in the graveyard. The sexton recalled that the former minister, now in Brechin, had said the church was on the site of a monastery.

No confirmation could be obtained for the dedication mentioned by Macrae.

Visited by OS (R D L) 5 May 1963.

Parish church - No roof.

CFA/MORA Coastal Assessment Survey 1998.

A re-used fragment of a medieval cross slab was identified on the exterior of the S wall of the nave at first floor level and towards the E end of the building.

Information from Mr D Alston, 24 April 2004.

NMRS, MS/2008.


Photographic Survey (June 1963)

Photographic survey of the exterior of Kiltearn Parish Church, Ross and Cromarty, by the Scottish National Buildings Record in June 1963.

Field Visit (2013 - 2014)

Church is now in poor state, and entrances boarded up. Severe problems with rabbit burrows, with a number of bones exposed. The retaining wall, which forms the coastal defence, is in poor condition in places, and needs more maintenance.

Visited by Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk (SCHARP) 2013

Measured Survey (20 January 2017 - 31 October 2017)

NH 61658 65226 (Canmore ID: 13651) Evanton Community Trust ran a community project, 20 January – 31 October 2017, to investigate the roofless old parish church by the shore. ARCH provided community courses on standing building survey (Lynne McKeggie), researching historical documents, gravestone recording in the old kirkyard, and interpretation of material for a display and signboard (Susan Kruse). Anne Fraser of Highland Archive Centre provided training in family history research. Iain Clark of the Evanton Community Trust and project participants undertook schools outreach.

The standing building survey produced full photographic records, plus a plan and elevation drawings of the E side of the kirk, which preserves traces of a medieval window and pre-1790 window, as well as at least one pre-Reformation buttress. The gravestone survey recorded >400 gravestones and lair markers, with >900 names and intials. The gravestone information is available in full at the Cornerstone Cafe in Evanton and at the Highland Archives. A spreadsheet with names is available from the ARCH website, and a database will be put up on the ECT website. The full photographic record and the elevations have been submitted to the HER. Binders of information have been given to Dingwall and Alness Libraries, Cornerstone Cafe in Evanton and the school.


Funder: Heritage Lottery Fund, Kiltearn Community Council,

Clan Munro Association, and Adopt-a-Monument

Susan Kruse – Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands

(Source: DES, Volume 18)


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions