Kinkell, St Michael's Church And Burial-Ground

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Alternative Names Commandery Of The Knights Hospitaller; Kinkell Church And Burial-Ground; Lower Kinkell; Ardmurdo; Kinkell, Old Parish Church
Canmore ID 18573
Site Number NJ71NE 18
NGR NJ 78583 19062
Former Region GRAMPIAN
Former District GORDON
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Kinkell Church, early 16th century. Battered but tranquil ruin on its haugh by the Don, probably built by Alexander Galloway, Parson of Kinkell (d.1552) and architect of the Bridge of Dee in Aberdeen. Sacrament house of 1525 on south wall and excellent early stone of an armoured Gilbert de Greenlaw, who fell at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411; 'the only authentic, contemporary memorial of the battle of Harlaw' (Simpson). It was re-used in 1592, including a Greek New Testament text which is the earliest in Scotland. Baptismal font now in St John's Episcopal Church, Aberdeen.

Taken from "Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie - An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press

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Archaeological Notes

NJ71NE 18 78583 19062

For present parish church of Keithhall and Kinkell (NJ 8020 2096), see NJ82SW 50.00.

(NJ 7859 1906) Kinkell Church (NR) (Ruins of)
OS 6" map (1928)

Kinkell Church was built in 1538 and contains a Sacrament House of unusual design, dated 1524. The Church contains the monument of Gilbert de Greenlaw, slain at the battle of Harlaw (AD 1411) (NJ72SE 6).
A Watt 1864; V G Childe and W D Simpson 1954.

Kinkell Church is mentioned in the 13th century, and again in 1420, this time as belonging to the Knights of Jerusalem (not recorded by Easson [1957]). Gilbert de Greenlaw's tombstone has been re-used for a 16th century burial.
A Jervise 1875-9; D E Easson 1957.

The ancient church was dedicated to St Michael. The parishes of Keithhall and Kinkell were united on 20 February 1754.
H Scott et al 1915-61.

Only the north wall and parts of the east and west walls of Kinkell Church remain. It measured 73 feet in length by 18 feet 6 inches in width internally.
D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887-92.

The church has been partially restored.
Visited by OS (RD) 19 March 1964.

Only the N parts of the E and W walls remain; the church was unroofed in 1771 It was probably built by Alexander Galloway, Parson of Kirkwall and architect of the Bridge of Dee (NJ90SW 3).
(GRC/AAS photographs and additional bibliography cited).
NMRS, MS/712/67.

External Links

Scottish Church Heritage Research (SCHR)

Aberdeenshire Historic Environment Record

Books and References

Bogdan and Bryce, N and I B D (1991) 'Castles, manors and 'town houses' survey', Discovery Excav Scot
Page(s): 29

Childe and Simpson, V G and W D (1954) Illustrated guide to ancient monuments in the ownership or guardianship of The Ministry of Works: volume vi: Scotland, Edinburgh
Page(s): 70 Held at RCAHMS D.20.ANC.R

Cowan and Easson, I B and D E (1976) Medieval religious houses in Scotland: with an appendix on the houses in the Isle of Man, London
Page(s): 131-3 Held at RCAHMS C.3.2.EAS.R

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Charity SC026749