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Dunnet Parish Church

Church (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dunnet Parish Church

Classification Church (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) St Mary's Church; Dunnet Church; Dunnet Kirkstyle; Church Of Dunnet Parish

Canmore ID 8890

Site Number ND27SW 16

NGR ND 21987 71183

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Dunnet
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND27SW 16 21987 71183

(ND 2198 7118) Ch (NAT)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)



Building of a stair to the East loft of Dunnet Church. Receipts for lime and carriage of materials. Note of cash paid to John Mackay, Mason and his receipted account. 1817

GD 136/875/1-5

Report of the condition of Dunnet Chruch and Manse. Note of the necessary repairs and alterations. 1776

GD 136/476

Building of stair to church east loft. Accounts. John Mackay mason. 1817

GD 136/875/2 and 6-9

Information transcribed from Architecture catalogue slip:

Mr George Hay reports that he has recorded this church to some extent.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

The church of Dunnet parish, often quoted as a 17th century building, but which is in fact a rectangular, medieval church with a W tower, to which a N aisle was added in 1837. Its fine, lime-washed exterior and austere lines are in the authentic medieval tradition which persisted into Reformed times. The windows and doors have probably been altered, but one doorway in the W end of the N wall has retained its original round-headed form, although it is now blocked up.

The church is on record between 1223 and 1245, and there are many pre-16th century gravestones in the churchyard. Timothy Pont, the cartographer, was minister here in 1610.

Both church and churchyard appear to be uncared for.

The church is assumed to have been dedicated to St Mary from the fact that the main fair was held on the Tuesday after Marymas, 15th August, on the Marymas Green.

Orig Paroch Scot 1855; Name Book 1871; RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910; G Hay 1957; HBD list (1962).


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