MHG25668 - Fearn Free Church


Mid 19th-century Free Church which was substantially altered and extended in 1896-7.

Type and Period (2)

  • FREE CHURCH (Built, 19th Century - 1843 AD to 1872 AD)
  • FREE CHURCH (In use, 19th Century to 20th Century - 1843 AD? to 1972 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH87NE 32 8528 7802

'A substantial building situated on the road from Fearn to Portmahomack'
Name Book 1872 <1>

Fearn Free Church now disused, built between 1896-7, with transepts at the E end and bellcoted W gable and octagonal slte-roofed towers.
J Gifford 1992. <2>

A drawn and photographic survey of this building was undertaken by Harry Robinson in early 2009. The survey indicates that the building is some thirty years earlier than the above information suggests, and that the work by J.Pond Macdonald was a substantial remodelling with new additions.
The building is aligned on a NEE-SSW axis and was originally of simple rectangular plan, approximately 22m long by 11m wide, and built of simple ashlar sandstone. The 1896-7 works appear to have included the addition of transepts at the east end and two octagonal slate-roofed towers to the west gable. The original date of construction is not known, however a Free Church is depicted on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map c.1872 and it is suggested that it was built some time between the 1840s and 1860s. The building height appears to have been built to accommodate an internal gallery but it is not clear how this was accessed. It is possible that were external stairs at the west gable end. The church building went out of use in 1979 when a new church was built in Hilton.
At the time of survey the interior was observed to be in sound, undamaged condition, but stripped of all fittings with the the exception of a single bench pew attached to the upper west wall (photograph 15). Almost all window glass has been removed and the openings blocked with brick and wood panels. The Georgian simplicity of the interior contrasts with the restyled Gothic exterior. The former positions of the pews may be traced by marks on the wooden nave floor. <3>

Photographs were contributed by Martin Briscoe via the Highland HER Flickr group.<4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NH 85290 78024 (31m by 30m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH87NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish FEARN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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