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Dunbennan Old Church,church and burial ground

A Scheduled Monument in Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.4548 / 57°27'17"N

Longitude: -2.8281 / 2°49'41"W

OS Eastings: 350406

OS Northings: 840804

OS Grid: NJ504408

Mapcode National: GBR M9C0.R51

Mapcode Global: WH7LK.JWHF

Entry Name: Dunbennan Old Church,church and burial ground

Scheduled Date: 17 February 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5618

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard

Location: Huntly

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument consists of the remains of the old parish church of Dunbennan.

The parsonage of Dunbennan, was conjoined with that of Kinnoir, and was erected into a prebend of Elgin Cathedral around AD.1222, this was confirmed by Pope Honorious III and re-confirmed by Andrew, Bishop of Moray in 1226. Despite the conjunction, Dunbennan continued in use until 1725. All that remains to indicate the location of the latest church, probably dating from the 16th century and replacing an earlier structure, is a rubble-built burial enclosure.

The orientation of this is truer than that of the surrounding cemetery, and although architectural detail is lacking, it seems very likely that its N, S and E walls are built over and possibly incorporate the remains of the old church. The enclosure is situated in the NE portion of a rectangular burial ground formed by levelling up the

ground surface, apparently in the 18th century, and subsequently extended to the NW.

The enclosure is square on plan and aligned roughly E-W. It measures 6.35m E-W by 6.05m N-S over walls 0.6m thick and 1.7m high. A gap opens in the N side of the W wall. The walls of the enclosure have been re-pointed and capped. One grave stone inserted in the W wall may be of 17th-century date, another in the E wall is of 18th-century date. Several 19th-century memorials are fixed to the exterior walls.

The area to be scheduled is square with sides measuring a maximum of 45m to include the buried remains of the church and the original area of the graveyard, 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 Medieval parish church, documented as a joint parsonage with Kinnoir and erected into a prebend of Elgin Cathedral around AD 1222. Although the present structure is much altered, it may contain material from a 16th century church and is very likely to overlie the remains of an earlier Medieval foundation. As such it has the potential to provide evidence, through excavation, which may determine the location, extent and chronology of any earlier structure and thereby for increasing our understanding of ecclesiastical architecture, parish history and material culture in Scotland during the Middle Ages.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the monument as NJ 54 SW 8.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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