MHG16302 - Urquhart Old Parish Burial Ground


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • CEMETERY (Medieval to 21st Century - 1058 AD to 2100 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

NH55NE 1 5806 5849

For present Urquhart parish church (NH 5778 5790), see NH55NE 145.

(NH 5806 5849) Church (NR) (In Ruins)
OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907)

The remains of the former parish church. The Breviary of Aberdeen says that a wooden church was built at Urquhart on the spot where St Malrubha was martyred in 721 and that this church was superseded by the parish church (Reeves 1862). There is no local information about this building. W Reeves 1862; Name Book 1872.

The church and graveyard were listed at Category B in 1971.

The ivy-covered gables of the church stand intact but the N and S walls are partially destroyed by the insertion of later burial enclosures. It has measured 23.0m E-W x 7.6m overall, with walls 0.9m thick. The bell was recently removed from the belfry on the W gable and was sent for cleaning; it is shortly to be preserved in the present parish church. The farmer at Urquhart believes it bears a date in the 1630s. The graveyard is extended and still in use. The old graveyard wall is still traceable. The oldest legible grave marker is dated 1753.
Revised at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (A A) 16 July 1975.

The monument consists of the former parish church of Urquhart which is dedicated to St Maelruba. It is specified in the 'Breviary of Aberdeen' that a wooden chapel was built at Urquhart on the spot where St Maelrubha was martyred in 721 and that this church was superseded by the parish church of Urquhart or Ferintosh (NH55NE 145). The present church, situated in an extended burial ground overlooks the neck of the Cromarty Firth to the N. The ivy-choked gables of the building are still intact but the intervening walls have been altered by the insertion of a N burial aisle (c.1795) and later burial enclosures. The rectangular-plan, rubble-built structure measures 23.5m E-W by 7.7m N-S over walls 0.9m thick. The W gable is surmounted by a late 17th-century belfry.
Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated June 1993.
NH55NE 1 5806 5849

The graveyard was visited during the Highland Kirkyards project, run by Highland Buildings Preservation Trust. Old kirkyard with vegetation covered ruined chapel on the south shore of the Cromarty Firth. The ruined church dates to 1747-51, and was abandoned in 1795. There are many flat slabs underfoot in the area surrounding the chapel site and the raised ground indicates many burials over time. Many different styles and dates of gravestones including early 18th century uprights.
The more recent portion of the graveyard lies to the north, where the gravestones are mostly upright, often with low iron railings surrounding them and date from the 19th and 20th centuries. <1> <2>

Photographs were contributed by Martin Briscoe via the Highland HER Flickr group.<3>

The scheduled area (the church) was specifically omitted from the Category B listing following re-assessment by Historic Scotland in 2015. <4>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 5803 5849 (143m by 144m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH55NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.