Ancient Monuments

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St John's Church,old parish church and burial ground,Gamrie

A Scheduled Monument in Troup, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.6696 / 57°40'10"N

Longitude: -2.3518 / 2°21'6"W

OS Eastings: 379109

OS Northings: 864465

OS Grid: NJ791644

Mapcode National: GBR N8KG.19K

Mapcode Global: WH8LY.VH88

Entry Name: St John's Church,old parish church and burial ground,Gamrie

Scheduled Date: 4 May 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5678

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard

Location: Gamrie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Troup

Traditional County: Banffshire


The monument consists of the remains of the old parish church and burial ground of Gamrie. The dedication is to St John the Evangelist.

The church, said to have been founded in AD 1004, was granted by William the Lion to Arbroath Abbey between 1189 and 1198. The church, located in its rubble-walled graveyard, is situated on the E side of Gamrie Bay overlooking the village of Gardenstown. The present

building, thought to have been built in the 16th century, is likely to overlie an older church and may incorporate re-used material.

The narrow rectangular building measures 29.4m E-W by 6.65m N-S, over walls c.0.8m thick. Its random-rubble walls, repointed in 1961, stand to roof height. The church has been built in two phases: an extension to the W greatly increased the length and the E end was probably heightened at the same time. The E gable has a set-off at the level

of what was presumably the original height. Most of the openings are blocked; the dressings and some of the quoin stones are of friable red sandstone.

There have been five entrances in all: one in each

gable; one in the N wall; and two in the S wall which are the only ones to remain un-blocked. That near the E end has a hole for a sliding bar. The windows are mostly in the S wall, are irregularly spaced, and are square-headed of various sizes. A round-headed sacrament house with eroded sandstone mouldings lies to the N of the blocked entrance in the E gable.

On the other side is a blind niche above a mural memorial to the Barclay of Tolly family dating from the 16th century. The graveyard and the interior of the church have tomb- stones of 17th and 18th-century date. The area to be scheduled is irregular, measuring a maximum of 40m E-W

by 45m N-S, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an example of a late medieval church which is the last of a probable series of churches built on a site which has been in use as a focus of Christian worship since the twelfth century and possibly earlier. As such it provides evidence and has the potential to provide further evidence, through excavation, for ecclesiastical architecture, social analysis of burials, material culture and parish organisation in medieval Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 76 SE 2.


MacGibbon D and Ross T 1897, The ecclesiastical architecture of Scotland from the earliest Christian times to the seventeenth century, Vol. 3, 567-9, Edinburgh.

Macleod N K 1898, 'The Churches of Buchan' 122-3, J B Pratt, Buchan, (1858, revised 1901) 327-35, 337.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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