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Moncrieffe Chapel

Burial Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Cairn (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Chapel (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Moncrieffe Chapel

Classification Burial Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Cairn (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Chapel (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Moncrieffe House Policies; Moncrieffe House, Chapel

Canmore ID 28059

Site Number NO11NW 8

NGR NO 13809 19285

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NO11NW 8 13809 19285.

(NO 1381 1928) Chapel (NR), Graveyard (NR) (Site of)

OS 6" map, (1959)

Momcrieff chapel. A ruined chapel mentioned in 1583 (R W Fraser 1857), but evidently having been altered and used in Presbyterian times. Within the last few years it has been enlarged with an apse and transepts, so as to form a burial place. Most of the stones for this purpose have been taken from the ruins of the bridge (NO11NW 14) at Bridge of Earn.

R W Fraser 1857; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896-7.

The remains of the chapel are generally as described and planned above having been restored to roof height with a modern extension at the eastern end. The interior is used as the Moncrieff family burying ground and a tablet in the west wall states that 'it is recorded that (among others) Duncan Moncrieff who died in 1357 is buried within the church of Moncrieff'.

The earliest date on a surviving tombstone in the chapel is 1458, according to a modern transcription set in the wall opposite the stone. Nothing appears to remain of the old graveyard outside the chapel, but the area was thickly overgrown with nettles at the time of inspection.

Visited by OS (R D L) 9 June 1964.

The chapel of Moncrieff stands on a low mound, possibly a cairn, in wooded parkland about 110m ESE of Moncrieffe House (NO11NW 41.00). The building comprises the roofless shell of the chapel itself, and a 19th-century burial-enclosure, which has been appended to the chapel?s E end, in the form of N and S transepts and a small five-sided apse on the E.

The chapel is a simple rectangular structure, measuring 11.9m from E to W by 6.83m overall, but there is also a small aisle on the N. The walls of the chapel are of rubble and mortar construction with ashlar quoins and are largely intact; they display evidence of several phases of modification, and incorporate numerous blocks of reused masonry. The S wall has a central doorway with a chamfered opening and is flanked by a pair of rectangular-headed windows; the latter are internally splayed, and have raised external margins. Reused stones are visible in the internal face of the S wall, and in the E jambs of the eastern window. The internal W jamb of the door incorporates a niche with a pointed arch cut out of a single block of stone; this appears to be in reuse also, originating either as the head of a stoup or a lancet. Directly opposite the doorway a round-headed arch with chamfered margins opens into the N aisle, and towards the E end of the N wall there is a rectangular aumbry. The W gable incorporates a relieving arch in its base, possibly for a subterranean vault, although nothing of such a structure is visible internally or externally, unless its site is indicated by a slight hollow to the W of the gable. At a height of 1.5m the gable has an external scarcement with a broad chamfer, above which there is a rectangular-headed window. The lower stones of the SW corner of the gable bear a rebate in their W face, evidently for a gate or a door closing in line with the S wall. The E gable, which is surmounted by a bellcote, is pierced by a rectangular-headed window and door, and between them there is an external scarcement at a height of 2.56m above the ground. The aisle on the N chapel has an internally splayed window in its N wall, and its floor is slightly raised over what appears to be the arch of a vault; the jambs of the window incorporate stones in reuse. Two weathered, and illegible, panels are built into the aisle, one inside, below the window, the other in the outer face of the gable, above the window.

The chapel and the burial-enclosure to the E contain several monuments to the Moncrieff family. The oldest stone visible is a medieval graveslab, measuring 1.7m in length by 1.27m in breadth and 0.65m in thickness, which lies in the W end of the chapel. This bears a black letter inscription along two edges. Although much worn, the name Murray and the date 1457 can be made out. The transepts of the burial-enclosure incorporate several armorial panels.

The oval mound upon which the chapel stands measures at least 37m from E to W by 29m transversely and up to 1.5 in height on the E. It has a well defined edge and, given the otherwise level nature of the terrace upon which the Moncrieffe policies lie, the possibility exists that the chapel has been built upon the levelled summit of a cairn or barrow.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS, IF, GP), 9 December 1996.

Scheduled as Moncrieffe House, chapel.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 14 January 2002.


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