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Walla' Kirk Graveyard

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Holy Well (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Walla' Kirk Graveyard

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Holy Well (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Dumeath, St Walloch's Church

Canmore ID 17282

Site Number NJ43NW 9

NGR NJ 42666 37237

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/17282

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Glass
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Walla Kirk graveyard, 18th century. Hard-by the Deveron, on the traditional site of St Wallach's kirk and just downstream of his well and bath or baptism pool. St Wallach allegedly died in 733 and the former church may have dated from the 12th century; St Wallach's Fair was held at Haugh of Glass. Some good 18th-century stones and the burial enclosure of the Gordons of Wardhouse and Beldorney, restored by Rafael Gordon in 1913. The Beldorney Gordons, later of Wardhouse, stemmed from Adam, Dean of Caithness and third son of first Earl of Huntly.

Taken from "Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie - An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press http://www.rias.org.uk

Archaeology Notes

NJ43NW 9 42666 37237

(NJ 4264 3724) Walla' Kirk (NAT) Chapel (NR) (Site of)

(Name centred NJ 425 370) Walla' Bath (NAT)

(Name centred NJ 4268 3713) Walla' Pot (NAT)

OS 6" map, Aberdeenshire, 2nd ed., (1902)

The ancient church of Dumeath was dedicated to St Walloch and is known locally as Walla' Kirk. It is mentioned in 1157 but accepted as a foundation by the Celtic saint (Stuart 1859). An old font was to be seen c. 1873 in the ruins of the church, though the ONB (1837) stated that only a mound remained, and the graveyard continued in use at least until 1899 (Northern Notes and Queries 1900).

St Walloch's Well was sited 30 yards (200 yards {Bailey 1907}) below the church and is now dry except in exceptional rain due to the draining of the field. It was a holy well and the water was in use for healing until recent times. Offerings of pins were left in a twin-holed stone beside it. St Walloch's Bath, a cavity in the rock, 3-4ft deep, and supplied by a small spring running into it from the brae about 20ft above the 'bath', was also used until recently for bathing sick children. Rags were hung beside it as an offering. There is a record of these superstitions being censured in 1648. Walla' Pot is described as a pool in the river which was also used as a bathing place for curing people.

J Stuart 1859; Name Book 1870; A Mitchell and J Drummond 1875; Northern Notes and Queries 1900; W Bailey 1907; W D Simpson 1935.

The site of Walla' Kirk is marked by a slight rise in the graveyard which is still in use. An old font, probably that mentioned, is situated within a burial enclosure to the Gordons at NJ 4266 3724. Walla' Pot and Bath, both natural pools are still known locally and are as described.

St Walloch's Well, was not located, but a dry-stone lined well, c.0.5m by c.0.7m by c.0.4m deep at NJ 4237 3709 enclosing a spring and known locally as 'Priest's Well' could be St Walloch's Well because of the distance given by Bailey (1907).

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RL) 9 October 1967.

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