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Cupar, Kirkgate, Old And St Michael Of Tarvit Parish Church

Church (15th Century)

Site Name Cupar, Kirkgate, Old And St Michael Of Tarvit Parish Church

Classification Church (15th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Old Parish Church; St Michael's Parish Church

Canmore ID 31495

Site Number NO31SE 15

NGR NO 37302 14336

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Cupar
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO31SE 15.00 37302 14336

NO31SE 15.01 37323 14347 Parish Church

NO31SE 15.02 37303 14308 Churchyard

For (predecessor) church of St Christopher (NO 3666 1527), see NO31NE 2.

(NO 3732 1434) Church (NAT)

OS 6"map, (1938)

The balustrade forming the parapet, and the other features of the spire, are typically 17th century.

D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896-7.

The church was dedicated to St Christopher.

A H Millar 1895.

The parishes of Cupar-Fife and Tarvit were united in 1618. The church of Cupar was dedicated to St Christopher and belonged to the Priory of St Andrews. A Second Charge for this parish was founded in 1625.

Scott et al 1915.

St. Michael's Church, Cupar. In 1415 a new parish church was founded at some distance from the earlier building (St. Christophers - 7 SE 3) which lay on the N side of the burgh. (Information from the Book of Paisley) It consisted of a long narrow nave with a painted wooden barrel roof, two full length aisles and a tower at the W end of the N aisle, and was 133ft by 54ft overall. In 1785, being "in a state of total decay" it was mostly demolished to make room for its successor (OSA 1795). The tower and three bays of the N aisle remain, the arcade being filled in, so that the aisle now serves as a vestry of session house for the modern church.

In 1620 the Rev W M Scott rebuilt the upper part of the tower, raising the bells from the third to the fourth storey, and adding the Renaissance spire. Where there originally appears to have been a battlement, there is now a corbelled parapet walk, protected by a balustrade with a panel dated 1620.

RCAHMS 1933.

The church is as described by RCAHMS, is in good condition and is in

use for public worship.

Visited by OS (D S) 1 November 1956.

Previous OS report confirmed.

Visited by OS (R D L) 21 May 1964.

Architecture Notes

NO31SE 15.00 37302 14336

NO31SE 15.01 37323 14347 Parish Church

NO31SE 15.02 37303 14308 Churchyard


ARCHITECTS: Hay Bell 1785

Messrs. Buchan of North Berwick submitted designs 1785 - not executed

Robert Hutchison, 1834 - scheme for enlarging church - not executed

Thomas Finlay - addition of porch, 1803

John Dawson, mason - repaired tower 1806

Rev. William Scott - added balusters to tower, 1820


Publication Account (1981)

In 1618 Cupar parish joined with the small parish of Tarvit to the east of the burgh. The parish church of Tarvit, dedicated to St. Michael, was first mentioned in 1245, although nothing now remains of the medieval structure (Lamb, 1895, i, 127-8).

Information from ‘Historic Cupar: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1981).


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