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Kinkell Church and burial ground

A Scheduled Monument in Inverurie and District, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.2617 / 57°15'42"N

Longitude: -2.3567 / 2°21'24"W

OS Eastings: 378579

OS Northings: 819058

OS Grid: NJ785190

Mapcode National: GBR XB.511R

Mapcode Global: WH8NW.RQYZ

Entry Name: Kinkell Church and burial ground

Scheduled Date: 31 December 1921

Last Amended: 3 March 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90188

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: church

Location: Keithhall and Kinkell

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Inverurie and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a church of late medieval date and its burial ground. It is in the care of the Secretary of State for Scotland and is being re-scheduled to extend and clarify the extent of the protected area.

The monument lies at around 50m OD. It comprises the remains of Kinkell Church, a late medieval church measuring about 22m long and about 6m wide, abandoned as a place of worship since 1771. Only the N wall and parts of the E, S and W walls of the church remain. The doorway was in the S wall. Although a church of Kinkell is recorded from the early 13th century, the present building, with its large four-light traceried east window, represents the result of a remodelling that occurred in the early 16th century,

The north wall of the church contains an unusual sacrament house, bearing the date 1524 and the initials of Alexander Galloway, who is recorded as rector of Kinkell and canon of Aberdeen Cathedral in 1528. Another panel, carved with a representation of the Crucifixion and bearing the same initials (three times) and the date 1525, is now represented by a bronze replica set into the same wall, the original having been removed to Aberdeen Museum in 1934 and subsequently lost.

Another of Canon Galloway's gifts to the church, the font, now stands in St John's Episcopal Church, Aberdeen. Also within the church is the monument of Gilbert de Greenlaw, killed at the battle of Harlaw in 1411; the stone was re-used for a Forbes burial in 1592 and is now displayed vertically to allow both sides to be seen.

The church lies within a trapezoidal burial ground measuring a maximum of 50m NW-SE by 40m NE-SW and enclosed by a stone wall.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described, including the graveyard wall and the area enclosed by it, within which related material may be expected to be found. It is trapezoidal with maximum dimensions of 50m NW-SE by 40m NE-SW, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of the evidence that it contributes to our knowledge of late medieval ecclesiastical architecture, sculpture, liturgy and patronage on the eve of the Reformation. Its significance is enhanced both by the survival of documentary evidence relating to it and by the potential of the associated below-ground archaeological remains for contributing further to an understanding of medieval architectural history and material culture. The importance of the site is reflected in its status as a property in state care.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NJ 71 NE 18.


Childe, V G and Simpson, W D, 1954, Illustrated guide to ancient monuments in the ownership or guardianship of The Ministry of Works: volume vi: Scotland, Edinburgh, 70.

Cross, M, 1994, Bibliography of Monuments in the Care of the Secretary of State for Scotland, 399-401, Glasgow.

Easson, D E 1957, Medieval religious houses in Scotland: with an appendix on the houses in the Isle of Man, London, 131-3.

Jervise, A, 1875, Epitaphs and inscriptions from burial grounds and old buildings in eth north-east of Scotland with historical, biographical, genealogical and antiquarian notes, 2v, Edinburgh, Vol. 1, 304.

MacGibbon, D and Ross, T, 1897, Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, 383-6, Edinburgh.

Scott, H et al (eds.), 1915-61, Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation, Revision Edinburgh, Vol. 6, 162, 164-5.

Watt, A, 1864, Early history of Kintore, 133-5, 144.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Kinkell Church
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Related Designations

Former Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, including outbuildings and fog horn, Stevenson Road, FraserburghLB31888
Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusDesignated

Designation TypeListed Building (B)StatusRemoved

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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