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Brechin, Maisondieu Lane, Maisondieu Chapel

Hospital (Medieval)

Site Name Brechin, Maisondieu Lane, Maisondieu Chapel

Classification Hospital (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) St Mary's

Canmore ID 35056

Site Number NO56SE 13

NGR NO 59666 60340

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Brechin
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Angus
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO56SE 13 59666 60340

(NO 5967 6033) Maison Dieu Chapel (NR) (Ruin) AD 1256

OS 25" map (1864)

A hospital designated Maison Dieu was founded before 1267 by William de Brechin whose charter refers to St Mary's Chapel of his foundation and to the master, chaplains and poor people there. Bedesmen were still being maintained in 1582 and there are references to the mastership until at least 1636, when the office was conjoined with a mastership in the grammer school.

The surviving walling is part of the 13th century chapel consisting of part of the S wall and fragment of the E wall, worked in a pure and simple first pointed style, of great architectural value.

The S wall is about 40' long and contains a doorway with a nook shaft in each jamb and good mouldings on the arch. It also contains three lancet windows and one jamb of a fourth. The fragment of the E wall terminates at the jamb of the first window. The mouldings of the windows are plain but effective.

There is a piscina in the S wall but the details are damaged.

D E Easson 1957; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896

As described. A filled-in lancet window, probably part of the E gable, exists in the W gable of the adjacent house.

Visited by OS (JLD) 24 July 1958

This building may be affected by a proposed development, in an area adjacent to Dubton Farm, Brechin. As a first step, a desk-based assessment was carried out to ascertain what likely impact any develpoment here would cause to the locality. No archaeological excavation was carried out, but maps and aerial photos were studied. Further work will be necessary if the develooment is to go ahead. Existing sites and buildings that will be affected were studied and listed.

S Badger 2005

A watching brief was carried out by SUAT Ltd 20m west of the chapel remains. Maison Dieu Lane was widened and a new wall built, along with a new car park in a section of former school playground. See site NO56SE 305 for more details.

J Dowling 2006

Architecture Notes

NO56SE 13 59666 60340


National Library of Scotland: Uncatalogued manuscripts of General Hutton Vol. 2 - sketch.


Publication Account (1977)

A hospital designated Maison Dieu (House of God) was founded by William de Brechin in the 1260s. Bedesmen were still being maintained as late as 1582 and there are references to the mastership of the hospital till 1636 when the office was conjoined with a mastership in the grammar school (Cowan & Easson, 1976, 172). Maison Dieu served as a residence for the schoolmaster in the seventeenth century, but by 1700 was in a ruinous condition. It was used as a stable until a fire swept through it in 1825 (Thoms, 1962, 22). The principle remaining fragment is thirteenth century walling about forty feet (12.19m) in length.

Information from ‘Historic Brechin: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1977).

Field Visit (1997 - 2001)

Derek Hall managed an Historic Scotland funded project to record medieval hospital sites in Scotland. Gazetteers were produced for each regional council area between 1997 and 2001 with an overall review in 2001.


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