MHG31396 - Graveyard, Nigg Parish Church

Summary

Graveyard associated with the early 17th-century parish church. The church replaced an earlier structure and it is clear that the graveyard also has much earlier origins, containing at least two examples of medieval grave markers.

Type and Period (2)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Canmore record for church and graveyard:

NH87SW 5 8045 7171
This parish church, dedicated to St Fiacre, built 1626, renovated 1725, enlarged 1786; Andrew Maitland, alterations, 1864. It is a simple, long T-plan church with main portion E-W and T-wing to N. The earliest reference to church on this site occurs in 1255-6.
OSA 1794; NSA 1845; Orig Paroch Scot 1855; N Macrae 1923; G Hay 1957;
I B Cowan 1967; RCAHMS 1979. <1>-<6>

This church is still in use. Bell is dated 1624 as is oldest dated gravestone in graveyard, which is also still in use. The dedication is not in use, church being known as Nigg Parish Church. Visited by OS (ISS) 25 August 1972.

REFERENCE: SCOTTISH RECORD OFFICE

Heritors Records (HR 361/4 Nigg) Report on Ecclesiastical Buildings of Nigg 1878. New floor inserted 12" higher than previous floor. N gallery to be removed. E and W galleries to be partitioned off to make a more comfortable church. A Maitland & Sons, Architects, Tain. Later reports cover minor repairs.

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Guide: 1 of the finest gravestones is at W end of kirkyard, a box tomb of Marie Urquhatrt & John Grant dating from 1679/… also a carved stone by Hugh MiIler. This is a table stone which can be recognised by the scalloped edge to the top. Nearby is the cholera stone. Graveyard around the church on all sides, to N seems to be collapsing down the bank into the river, on the S side there is an earlier wall outside the fencing, with some grave markers etc therefore outside the current boundary (odd pieces slipped down the slope). V full graveyard. <7>

Visited during the Highland Kirkyards project, run by Highland Buildings Preservation Trust. Rural, white harled church dating from the 17th century, surrounded by old graveyard. The church is not in ecclesiastical use, but is roofed, in good condition and open to visitors with leaflets and information panels inside.
The graveyard has many burials covered with flat slabs, there are also many table top stones and to the north of the church many small, short upright stones of the 18th century. <8><9>

W Rae Macdonald (1901-2) describes two of the memorials, one of which (the Gair memorial) is illustrated. See also MHG54348. <10>

Professor George Henderson advises that the RCAHMS reference above to a dedication to St Fiacre is spurious, the church having been confused with one at Nigg in Aberdeenshire. This church has no recorded dedication. For further information about the church see MHG8468. <11><12>

Professor Henderson also sent photographs and information about the Gair enclosure, in particular the tomb of Alexander Gair 1659, and the tombstone of Ann Mille(r?) in the north west corner of the churchyard. These can be found in MHG54348 and MHG54349 respectively (see links at bottom of this record). Prof Henderson notes that the 1659 Gair gravestone re-uses a 14th/15th-century monument. He also says "Some years ago Niall Robertson spotted a small cross-shaped grave marker which lies outside the west end of the church. This grave marker is early medieval. These monuments show clearly that the graveyard is far older than the 17th-century date given". <13>

A watching brief on drainage work in the churchyard in 2005 revealed no archaeological features or finds of significance, since the works took place within areas of previous disturbance. See the event record (link at bottom of this record) for report and photographs. <14>

The Listing description was amended on 09/08/2012. <15>


Sir John Sinclair (ed.), 1791-9, The statistical account of Scotland, drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes, Vol. 8, 17 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2606.


Nigg Old Trust, 1998, Nigg Old Church Visitors Information (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2582.


<1> NSA, 1845, The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy, Vol. 14, Ross and Cromarty, 36 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2597.


<2> OPS, 1855, Origines parochiales Scotiae: the antiquities ecclesiastical and territorial of the parishes of Scotland, 454 (Text/Publication/Monograph). SHG342.


<3> MacRae, N, 1923, The romance of a royal burgh: Dingwall's story of a thousand years, 289 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2489.


<4> Hay, G, 1957, The architecture of Scottish post-Reformation churches, 1560-1843, 169, 273 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2307.


<5> Cowan, I B, 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 157 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG367.


<6> RCAHMS, 1979, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Easter Ross, Ross and Cromarty District, Highland Region, 27, No. 231 (Text/Report). SHG2670.


<7> White, H, Comment by Hilary White, HC Archaeologist, 10-11/2003 (Verbal Communication). SHG23635.


<8> Robinson, B; Scott, M; Wright, A, 03/2010, Highland Kirkyards: Ross and Cromarty (Collection/Project Archive). SHG25133.


<9> Highlands Buildings Preservation Trust, 2009, Photographs of Ross and Cromarty Kirkyards (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG25134.


<10> Macdonald, W R, 1902, 'The heraldry in some of the old churchyards between Tain and Inverness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol 36 1901-2, pp 688-732, pp 692-4 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1679.


<11> Henderson, I, 2001, "The Cross-Slab at Nigg, Easter Ross" in New Offerings, Ancient Treasures: Studies in Medieval Art for George Henderson, Binski, P and Noel, W (eds), p 144, note 7 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG25229.


<12> Henderson, G, 2011, Letter and photographs from Prof. George Henderson regarding monuments in Nigg churchyard (Text/Correspondence). SHG25230.


<13> Tilbury, S, Comment by Sylvina Tilbury, HER Officer, 05/04/2011 (Verbal Communication). SHG23297.


<14> John Wood, 04/2006, Watching Brief and Photographic Record: Nigg Old Church (Text/Report/Fieldwork Report). SHG22473.


<15> Historic Scotland, 2012, Combined Statutory and Descriptive List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Highland Council, One Hundred and Thirty Ninth Amendment) 2012 (Text/Designation Notification/List of Buildings). SHG25982.

Sources/Archives (17)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NH 8043 7170 (80m by 77m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH87SW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish NIGG

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (6)

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