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Ballumbie Parish Church

Cemetery (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Ballumbie Parish Church

Classification Cemetery (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 33498

Site Number NO43SW 4

NGR NO 442 347

NGR Description NO c. 44 33

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Murroes (Angus)
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District City Of Dundee
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO43SW 4 c442 347.

NO43SW 4.01 Cross-slab

NO43SW 4.02 Cross-slab

NO43SW 4.03 Grave-slab

In origin a chapel of Lundie, the church is designated a parish church in 1470, while at the Reformation it appears both as a chapel and a parsonage. The revenues of the church were erected into a prebend of the collegiate church of Foulis Easter before 1538 and so continued.

A J Warden 1880-85; I B Cowan 1967.


Excavation (April 2005 - June 2005)

The excavated church site was described in more detail in the SUAT Ltd annual report 2005. The site was discovered during groundbreaking works adjacent to Ballumbie Castle golf course, to the NE of Dundee. Human bone was found and SUAT were asked to assess the situation. It was decided complete excavation was necessary because preservation was not an option. Eight weeks of excavation revealed the remains of the forgotten medieval church, associated Laird's Aisle and graveyard. The medieval activity overlay a completely unknown Early Christian long-cist cemetery that was defined by a ditch. This site has proved to be one of the most important rural medieval church sites excavated in Scotland.

SUAT Ltd 2005

347 Rescue excavation in advance of a new housing development between April and June 2005 located the remains

of the medieval parish church of Ballumbie (NO43SW 4.00) and its associated graveyard. This church originated as a chapel of Lundie and became a parish church in 1470. The church as excavated was of a simple rectangular plan, with a Laird's Aisle attached to its southern side. The aisle contained the remains of at least four human burials, one of which lay in a mural tomb in the southern wall. The church contained many layers of internal burial, concentrated at its western end, and included the burial of a priest on an E-W rather than W-E alignment.

Underlying the medieval church and graveyard lay the remains of a previously unknown long cist cemetery, enclosed by a ditch with an entrance at its western end. The cist burials included both adults and children, and were associated with at least three fragments of cross-incised stones. One of the burials in the cist cemetery had a copper-alloy bracelet on its right wrist. This site was completely excavated prior to its removal for the construction of housing.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: Stewart Milne Homes Ltd.

D Hall and R Cachart 2005

External Reference (June 2005)

Previously assigned the NGR c.NO 44 33, the remains of the church were discovered ahead of development, and excavated by SUAT Ltd in 2005.

Information from D Hall, SUAT Ltd, June 2005.


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