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Kilrenny Parish Church

Church (Period Unassigned), Tower (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Kilrenny Parish Church

Classification Church (Period Unassigned), Tower (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 34136

Site Number NO50SE 3

NGR NO 57526 04859

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NO50SE 3.00 57526 04859

NO50SE 3.01 Centred NO 57549 04859 Burial-Ground

NO50SE 3.02 NO 57510 04859 Lumsdaine Monument

NO50SE 3.03 NO 57545 04857 Beaton Monument

NO50SE 3.04 NO 57501 04883 Mausoleum

(NO 5750 0485) Ch (St)

OS 6" map (1912-38)

The old church was larger than the present one, being 100ft x 50ft over the walls. The roof was supported by two rows of Gothic arches and pillars. After an inspection in 1806, it was found to be in a dangerous state, so it was pulled down and a new church erected on its site.

New Statistical Account (NSA) 1845 (G Dickson)

"The Church of Kilrenny belonged to the monks of Dryburgh, (Berwick 30 SE 2) having been given to them by Ada, the mother of Malcolm IV and William, before 1177...In 1268 a pension of twelve marks was given to the vicar, who in 1336 was a certain John."

The name (Kilrenny) shows it to have been a Culdee establishment but there is much uncertainty as to the saint, preacher or hermit to whom it was dedicated.

W Wood 1887

Tower, parish church, Kilrenny. The parish church, dating from 1808, abuts at its NW corner on a bell tower, the only remnant of the former church, which extended further W than the present one. The tower has always been a NW tower and was probably built about the same time as that of St Michael's Church, Cupar (NO13NE 11) in 1415.

It is of coursed rubble, 19 3/4 x 14 1/2 ft externally. The N window at ground level is an insertion but the lancet doublets in each wall of the bell chamber are original. The parapet dates from the 16th century and the slated spire is probably, but not certainly, contemporary. An archway, now built up, opened on to the nave, and a second archway, also built up and apparently later, opened on to the N aisle. The lower storey was once vaulted. A turnpike, ascending to the parapet, has been inserted in the NW angle. The roof raggle on the outer face of the S wall does not appear to be original. Sepulchral monuments in the church are dated 1592, 1672, and late 17th century.

Local fishermen call the tower St Irnie. It is suggested that this is a corruption of St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons. Others would connect it with Ringan (ie St Ninian) or with St Ethernan.


Consecrated July 1243. Dedicated to St Ethernannus.

Information from D C Baird, undated; Pontificale Ecclesiae S Andreae

As described by RCAHMS. The dedication of the old church is not certain but probably as stated by D C Baird (H MacNab, minister).

Visited by OS (WDJ) 30 August 1968


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