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Dull Parish Church

Church (Period Unassigned), Font (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dull Parish Church

Classification Church (Period Unassigned), Font (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Dull, St Adamnan's Parish Church

Canmore ID 25626

Site Number NN84NW 18

NGR NN 80629 49165

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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


Dull 14 (St Adomnan), Perthshire, stone font

Measurements: L 1.09m, W 1.03m, H 0.34m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NN 80629 49165

Present location: at the south-west exterior corner of Dull church.

Evidence for discovery:

Present condition: battered and weathered.


This very substantial boulder has been shaped into a rough heptagonal shape, and a large oval hollow has been carved into its upper surface.

Date: early medieval.


Compiled by A Ritchie 2016


Dull 15 (St Adomnan), Perthshire, cross-slab fragment


Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: NN 80629 49165

Present location: re-used in the east gable of Dull church.

Evidence for discovery: found in 1989 by Niall Robertson.

Present condition: broken and weathered.


This appears to be a central portion from a cross-slab, probably recumbent, with the outline of a long shaft incised upon it.

Date: eighth or ninth century.

References: DES 1989, 64.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Archaeology Notes

NN84NW 18.00 80629 49165

NN84NW 18.01 8063 4915 cross-slab

NN84NW 18.01 80644 49154 Churchyard

See also NN84NW 13 and NN84NW 19.

(NN 8063 4915) The parish church of Dull, dedicated to St Adamnan, is rubble-built and possibly 17th century, but probably originating in an Early Christian monastic settlement for which there is convincing cumulative documentary evidence. This may have been founded by St Adamnan (679-704) but was probably secularised before the church first appears on record between 1203 and 1210.

The remains at NN 809 489 are locally referred to as the ruins of the early ecclesiastical establishment, but excavation has revealed no evidence of this (NN84NW 3) and the probability that later churches perpetuated the early site appears to be supported by the finding of a Class III slab in the churchyard before 1867. It is of yellow sandstone, 2'8" x 1'3 1/2" x 3 1/2", sculptured in relief on one face with horsemen, shield-bearing warriors and dogs, and is now in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS Accession no: IB 58).

MacDonald (OS 6" map annotated A MacDonald, DoE, undated) could find nothing potentially Early Christian in the church or churchyard, where apart from the socket-stone of a cross (NN 8063 4916) the earliest stones appear to be 18th century.

Other stones found in the vicinity, but presumably originating here, include a 9th - 10th century cross (NN84NW 13), a cross-slab (NN84NW 19) and part of a "Pictish Stone" (NN84NW 32). The alleged Sanctuary Crosses (NN84NW 10) are doubtfully Early Christian.

'Tobar Eonan', St Adamnan's well (NN84NW 20) is presumably the holy well of the pre-Reformation Church.

J R Allen and J Anderson 1903; A Macdonald and L Laing 1973; HBD No. 1.

Dull Parish Church (information from notice board) is still in use and is as described by MacDonald. The dedication is not generally in use. There is no trace of an early ecclesiastical site here. A mark on air photographs, apparently suggesting a sizeable circular enclosure surrounding the church, appears to be fortuitous - a result of recent field banks and natural features. Two cross slab fragments (NN84NW 13 and NN84NW 19 ) are preserved inside the church. Outside the SW corner is a large font composed of a near circular boulder 1.1m x 1.0m x 4.0m high, with an oval hollow 0.7m x 0.5m x 0.2m deep. The socket stone is at NN 8065 4920 near the centre of a detached part of the graveyard. The stone is partly buried and bears a rectangular hollow 0.32m x 0.12m x 0.13m deep.

Visited by OS (J B) 4 December 1974.

The cross slab fragments are mounted outside the main church door (see NN84NW 13 and NN84NW 19 ). The socket stone, though traceable, is now buried under the turf. The large stone basin at the SW corner of the church may be just a natural water-worn stone.

Visited by OS (M J F) 1 December 1978.

NN 806 492 Trial excavations with volunteers in June 2003 inside Dull Church (NN84NW 18) uncovered the remains of a clay-bonded wall and other possible stone foundations relating to earlier buildings on the site. A large number of disarticulated human remains were examined and then reburied in the trenches. An incised cross with an inscription thought to date to the 8th century was recovered, along with another slab with a simple incised cross. Other finds include a silver groat of Robert III and a sherd of medieval pottery.

Report lodged with Perth and Kinross SMR and the NMRS.

Sponsors: Breadalbane Heritage Society, Clan Donnachaidh Society, Perthshire Archaeology Week, GUARD.

R Will, D Reid 2003

Archaeological field evaluation undertaken to the E of Dull Parish Church.

John Lewis (Scotia Archaeology), 2007.

Architecture Notes



Repair of the Church of Dull.

Payment by Sir George Steuart of Grandtully of #308.7.0.

Factor's Account, William Mackewan, 1758.


Report on the condition of the Church of Dull.

Tradesmen have inspected the church and they reommend that the roof should be renewed and the walls and ceiling lathed and plastered. The loft at the back of the church could be taken down and a new loft erected to extend from the East to the West lofts.

Report given to the Committee of Heritors, 1818.

GD121/100/vol xviii/135.


Architect: James Laing, 1840.


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