MHG16592 - Rosemarkie Parish Church - Church Lane, High Street, Rosemarkie


The modern church of Rosemarkie was completed in 1821. It stands on a site whose Christian history probably dates back to a foundation of St. Moluag, who died in 592 and is said to be buried here.

Type and Period (1)

  • CHURCH (Early Medieval to 19th Century - 561 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Site on high land side overlooking beach. No trace of the older church buildings, other than modern church is built of two types of stone and possibly one is the old material re-used. The cemetery walls are of a variety of stones and in places seems to contain re-used material - HAW 4/2004

NH75NW 7 7372 5763.
Ch. (NAT) OS 6" map, (1959)
Sculptured Stone (NAT) OS 25" map, Ross-shire, (1906)

The modern church of Rosemarkie stands on a site whose Christian history probably dates back to a foundation of St. Moluag, who died 592, and is said to be buried here. Moluag's monastery was taken over, possibly in 716, by St. Boniface or Curitan, as a Culdie community. He dedicated the church to St. Peter, but it also became known as St. Boniface's.
The Culdie community is thought to have been converted to a Chapter, with abbot or prior as Bishop, by David I (1124-53). The first mention of the Bishop of Rosemarkie is 1126 and, according to Pullan, Rosemarkie church was still known as the 'Kyrk-Cathedral' in 1338, although the new cathedral at Fortrose (NH75NW 1) is thought to have been founded c1235.
The present church was built in 1821. Its predecessor was repaired in 1735 when 'some stone coffins of rude workmanship' were found in a vault.
A Class II cross slab, probably dating from about C9th was found in floor of the church. It stands 8' 6" high, and is preserved in the churchyard close to the church.
Four Class III fragments have also been found in churchyard. One of these (Fig 83) (No.2) lies on the grave of Donald Bain. The others are in NMAS. Rosemarkie No 3- NMAS 127 No 5?-NMAS 1B 120 No 4 - NMAS 1B 119 A J Beaton 1855; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896-7; N Macrae 1923; L Pullan 1927; A M Philip 1904; J R Allen and J Anderson 1903; R W Feachem 1963.

The church and class II cross-slab, the latter supported in an iron framework close to the west porch, are as described by previous authorities. There is no trace of the class III fragment in the still-used graveyard: Mr Fraser (A S Fraser, Clifton, Rosemarkie) believes it was removed.
Visited by OS (N K B) 16 March 1966.

The cross-slab was removed from near the door of the church several years ago, to be repaired It is now in Groam House Museum, Rosemarkie. RCAHMS 1979; Info from Miss F Bassindale, 2 May Court, Inverness.
See Rosemarkie, High St, Groam House Museum, NH75NW 21

Class II symbol stone bearing a cross on the face.On the reverse are three wide crescents and V-rods with a wide double-disc and Z-rod,containing a comb, between the second and third.Below these symbols are two small mirrors. (Rosemarkie No. 1 - see MHG8831)
A.Mack 1997 p.116
1818-21, on site of medieval church rebuilt 1734 (Presbytery records in SRO)

ARCHITECTS: Alexander Ross (I.C. 13 Jan 1876) Alterations
John Robertson (I.C. 23 Mar 1894) Alterations, incl. new pulpit

BELL: in tower; height 0.45m incl. 0.11m canons, diam at mouth 0.43m. Inscription incised except for date (?added to bell bought from stock): (in frieze) CAST FOR THE CHURCH OF ROSEMARKY ANNO 1753 /THIS v BELL v WAS v PURCHASED v BY MR IOHN WOOD MINISTER /TOWN v AND v PARISHES

Sources/Archives (21)



Grid reference Centred NH 7372 5763 (22m by 16m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH75NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

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Related Monuments/Buildings (17)

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