Ancient Monuments

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Moncreiffe House, chapel

A Scheduled Monument in Almond and Earn, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.3581 / 56°21'29"N

Longitude: -3.3964 / 3°23'46"W

OS Eastings: 313816

OS Northings: 719291

OS Grid: NO138192

Mapcode National: GBR 20.3BYL

Mapcode Global: WH6QK.SGV5

Entry Name: Moncreiffe House, chapel

Scheduled Date: 14 January 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9601

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: chapel

Location: Dunbarney

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Almond and Earn

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises a much remodelled and extended chapel of medieval date, visible as a largely complete upstanding structure.

The monument lies in wooded parkland about 110m ESE of Moncrieffe House. The chapel is situated upon the platform of an area of mounded earth of at about 30m OD. It was originally a pendicle within the parish of Dunbarny, and by 1357 is said to have become the principal burial place of the Moncreiffe family, a function it still serves despite having been abandoned for worship.

The building comprises the roofless shell of the chapel itself, with a later laird's aisle on its N side. A mid 19th-century T-shaped burial enclosure has been added to the chapel's eastern end, in the form of northern and southern transeptal projections, with a small five-sided axial apse on the E. Most of the stones for this addition were taken from the ruins of the bridge at Bridge of Earn (MacGibbon & Ross 1896-7).

The medieval part of the chapel is a simple rectangular structure, measuring c.11.9m E-W by 6.83m transversely. Its walls are of mortared rubble with ashlar quoins and are largely intact. They display evidence of several phases of modification and incorporate numerous blocks of re-used masonry.

The southern wall has a central doorway with a chamfered opening and is flanked by a pair of rectangular-headed windows; the latter are internally splayed and have raised external margins. Re-used stones are visible in the internal face of the southern wall, and in the eastern jambs of the eastern window. The internal western jamb of the door incorporates a niche with a pointed arch cut out of a single block of stone; this appears to be a re-use also, originating either as the head of a stoup or a lancet.

Directly opposite the doorway a round-headed arch, with chamfered margins, opens into the northern aisle, and a rectangular aumbry is present towards the eastern end of the northern wall. The western gable incorporates a relieving arch in its base, possibly for a subterranean vault, although nothing of such a structure is visible internally or externally, unless its site is indicated by a slight hollow to the W of the gable.

At a height of 1.5m the gable has an external scarcement with a broad chamfer, above which there is a rectangular-headed window. The lower stones of the SW corner of the gable bear a rebate in their western face, evidently for a gate or a door closing in line with the southern wall. The eastern gable is surmounted by a bellcote and is pierced by a rectangular-headed window and door. An external scarcement is present between these at a height of 2.56m above the ground.

The aisle on the northern chapel has an internally splayed window in its northern wall, and its floor is slightly raised over what appears to be the arch of a vault; the jambs of the window incorporate stones in re-use. Two weathered and illegible panels are built into the aisle, one inside and below the window, the other in the outer face of the gable above the window.

The chapel and the burial enclosure to the E contain several monuments to the Moncreiffe family. The oldest stone now visible is a medieval graveslab, measuring 1.7m in length by 1.27m in breadth and 0.65m in thickness, which lies in the western end of the chapel. This bears a black letter inscription along two edges. Although much worn, the name Murray and the date 1457 can be made out. The transepts of the burial enclosure incorporate several armorial panels.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found, but excluding the 19th-century burial enclosure. It is rectangular in shape, measuring 27m N-S by 32m E-W, as marked on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved example of a medieval chapel of modest scale, and because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of ecclesiastical architecture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 11 NW 8.


Fraser, R. W. (1857) The Kirk and the Manse.

MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1896-7) The Ecclesiastical architecture of Scotland from the earliest Christian times to the seventeenth century, 3v, 521-2. Edinburgh.

SDD (1960) List of Buildings of Architectural or Historical Interest.

NSA (1845) New Statistical Account of Scotland, vX 808, The Moncrieffs and the Moncrieffs, 307, 426.

Cartographic references:

Ordnance Survey 1866 First Edition (Perthshire) sheet XCVIII, 6 inches to 1 mile.

Ordnance Survey 1866 First Edition (Perthshire) sheet CX, 6 inches to 1 mile.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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