Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Kinellar Parish Church

Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Knocking Stone (Period Unassigned), Stone (Period Unassigned), Stone Circle (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)(Possible), Wall(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Kinellar Parish Church

Classification Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Knocking Stone (Period Unassigned), Stone (Period Unassigned), Stone Circle (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)(Possible), Wall(S) (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Old Church Of Kinnellar; Parish Church Of Kinellar; Kinnellar Kirkyard

Canmore ID 19589

Site Number NJ81SW 5

NGR NJ 82151 14440

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Recording Your Heritage Online

Former Parish Church, 1801. Broad rectangle, harled, no margins, with two large round-headed windows on west wall,

porch and bellcote at north gable and session house at south, standing isolated on a ridge. Oddly domestic dormers on east side. Original furnishings include two lairds' pews at west corners and one in upper gallery (this last carried on cast-iron columns). Pictish stone in porch. Altered 1977; converted to house 2005.

Taken from "Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie - An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NJ81SW 5 82151 14440

(NJ 8215 1443) Church (NAT) (On Site of the Old Church) (NAT)

OS 6" map (1938).

For stone circle (traditionally in churchyard), see NJ81SW 1.

For Pictish symbol stone built into church wall, see NJ81SW 6.

For Kinellar, Old Manse (NJ 8205 1437), see NJ81SW 61.

The Parish Church of Kinellar was built in 1801 on the site of the old church, supposed to have been Roman Catholic originally, and whose dedicatory name is not known.

Name Book 1864.

The small parish of Kinellar was of old a vicarage belonging to the adjoining parsonage of Kinkell.

H Scott 1915-61.

1801: some late additions.

G Hay 1957.

The bell of the church of St Triduana, Kinellar is dated 1612 AD. The Belfry in which it hangs was built in 1801 but two semi-circular stones, one dated 1615, are preserved from the old belfry.

F Eeles and R Clouston 1960.

The present church, dedicated to St Triduana and built in 1801 is still in use for religious services. The two semi-circular stones are now set into the wall above the entrance doorway of the old manse garden at NJ 8208 1436.

Visited by OS (EGC) 6 November 1961.

Site of church/Parish Church. Site of pre-Reformation church of St Triduana which was extant in 16th/17th cents. Present church built on site in 1801. A harled rectangle with porch and bellcote at the N gable; two round-arched windows in W gable; original furnishings with two laird's pews at W corners and one in gallery; U-plan gallery on cast-iron columns; 1615 bell; font-bowl at porch door.

NMRS, MS/712/79.

The present parish church of Kinellar, which was built in 1801, stands within its burial-ground on a level hilltop and commands broad views towards Kintore and Bennachie to the NW. The main body of the church is a simple rectangle on plan, entered via a porch at the NNW gable, and with a vestry attached to the SSE gable. The main windows in the WSW wall are round-headed, but these are flanked by two unusually small rectangular windows of a type also found in the ENE wall. There is also a small rectangular window of more conventional form in the N gable and a pair of dormers windows in the E slope of the roof. A bellcote is mounted upon the N gable, and a pair of ventilators crown the roof-ridge. The building is harled and externally no other structural details are visible.

A granite knocking stone beside the porch is roughly pentagonal in shape, measuring 0.5m across and 0.3m high, with a bowl 0.25m in diameter and 0.15m in depth. A second stone, again of granite, lies beside the vestry door; this is an unshaped block some 0.67m long by 0.47m broad and 0.25m high overall, with an elongated hollow in its upper surface measuring 0.4m in length by 0.23m in bread and 0.09m in depth.

The burial-ground, which has a modern extension to the E, is sub-rectangular on plan, and is raised approximately 0.8m above the surrounding ground level. The gravestones are predominantly of nineteenth- and twentieth- century date, but there are a few earlier slabs, the oldest of which appears to be a headstone dated 1756.

The S wall of the kirkyard dyke incorporates two massive stones, and it has been speculated that they are the remains of a recumbent stone circle (NJ81SW 1). The W stone measures 2.85m in length by at least 0.85m in height and 0.6m in thickness. The other lies 5.15m to the E in the angle of the wall, but little of this is visible, and no meaningful measurements could be made.

Visited by RCAHMS (IF, JRS), 26 July 1996.

Site Management (1 February 2004)

Harled rectangle with porch and bellcote at N. gable and session house at S. 2 round arched windows W. wall, Milne of Kinaldie monument 1871 between; original furnishing, 2 lairds' pews at W. corners and one in gallery; U-plan gallery on cast-iron columns lately renovated, no margins. 1615 bell. Fontbowl at porch door, but few monuments of note in churchyard. Symbol stone in porch. (Historic Scotland)


Publication Account (2011)

The south wall of the burial-ground of Kinellar Parish Church incorporates three large blocks (A, B, C), two of which have long been attributed to a stone circle standing on this hilltop. They lie 5m apart, the central one (B) visible for its full length of 2.85m, and the eastern (C) now largely hidden by a later extension of the burial-ground. A third block (A) a little over 1m in length is visible in the foundation of the wall 5m to the west. Noted in the Statistical Account (iii, 1792, 505), by James Logan (Cruickshank 1941, 106) and in the New Statistical Account (xii, Aberdeenshire, 115), it is difficult to tell whether these contain a memory of a stone circle standing here or whether they are simply explaining the presence of the two stones (cf Barnatt 1989, 485, no. 6:v). Be that as it may, in 1865–6 the OS surveyors marked this as the site of a stone circle, placing a cross on the 6-inch map in the field just south of the wall (Aberdeenshire 1869, lxv). Thirty years later Coles had little hesitation in pronouncing them the flankers of a recumbent setting (1902, 503–4), but if they were pushed over as he suggested and ‘made use of, with as little effort at removal as might be, to eke out the wall’ (ibid 504), it begs the question as to why the recumbent he visualised between them was not employed in the same way. It is reasonable to conclude that there was a megalithic monument standing here, quite possibly a stone circle, but it was probably demolished long before the wall was constructed and there is no evidence that it included a recumbent setting. Such a monument was perhaps the original site of the stone bearing Pictish symbols that was dug out of the south-east corner of the old parish church in 1801 (Stuart 1856, 6; NJ81SW 6)


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions