MHG31454 - Graveyard - St. Duthac's Church, Easter Suddie


The graveyard of St. Duthac's Church, Easter Suddie.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

The graveyard of St. Duthac's Church, Easter Suddie.

(NH 6650 5475) Suddie Church (NR) OS 6" map, (1959)

This was parish church of Suddie, and was abandoned in 1762 when a new parish church for the combined Suddie and Kilmuir parishes was erected at Knockbain (NH 6459 5224).
The Church was dedicated to St. Duthac of Tain (d.1065)
N Macrae 1923; L Pullan 1927; H Scott et al 1915-61.

All that remains of St. Duthac's or Suddie Church is the E gable virtually intact; part of the N wall, 1.2m high containing an aumbry; and the turf-covered footings of a section of the W wall. The walls, 0.8m thick, are of roughly coursed masonry with rubble infilling bonded with shell mortar. The E gable contains a small plaque with a family crest on it. The N wall is connected to a modern building: the graveyard is still used. According to Minister of U.F. Church at Munlochy, Knockbain Parish Church was erected in 1754, and combined churches of Suddie and Wester Kilmuir in 1762.
Revised at 1/2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 17 March 1966.

Suddy (Ross). The parsonage, along with that of Kinnettes, was assigned to the chanter of Ross in reconstitution of the chapter of Ross which was confirmed by Pope Alexander IV in 1255/6. At some indeterminate date before the 16th century, however, the two parsonages passed to the chancellor of Ross who appears to have exchanged them with the chanter who, in turn, received the benefice of Kilmorack. Both parsonage and vicarage fruits were apparently annexed, the cure forming a united vicarage pensionary with Kilmuir Wester.
I B Cowan 1967.

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

The church was scheduled in 1993. The monument consists of remains of late medieval old parish church of Suddie. The church known as St Duthac's was abandoned in 1762 when the parishes of Suddie and Wester Kilmuir were merged to form parish of Knockbain. From this date Knockbain, built in 1754, was used as parish church. All that survives upstanding of St Duthac's, a simple rectangular-plan church, is E gable (height about 5m) and 4.8m of adjoining N wall (height 1.5m) against which is faced a nineteenth century burial aisle. The remainder of the walls survive as turf-covered footings which are no more than 0.3m high. The church is made of roughly coursed masonry with rubble infilling bonded with shell mortar. It measures 13.2m E-W by 6m N-S overall, with walls 0.75m thick. A small rectangular credence niche is set in N wall and a weathered armorial plaque is incorporated in exterior wall of the gable.

Easter Suddie: isolated group of a churchyard beside a farm.
Suddie Church: of the church abandoned in 1764, only the E gable and a short stretch of the bottom of the N wall still stand, both featureless but probably late medieval. In place of a N transept, a crowstepped, mid-19th century mausoleum.
Beside the church's E gable, two table stones with almost identical inscriptions in the same cursive script, both commemmorating Kenneth Logan (died 1774), one erected by William, the other by Robert, Logan.
In the churchyard's NW corner, the burial-enclosure of the Mathesons of Bennetsfield. On its N wall, a weathered, rustically classical tablet, probably late 17th cent. Beside it a much larger tablet to John Matheson (died 1768) with a coat of arms. On the tablet to John Matheson ('late merchant at Fortrose) and his son John (both died 1769) an inscription beginning: 'HERE. Lies the young the friendly/ And. The. Just/ Who. Were both quickly. Hurried/ Into. Dust'.
J Gifford 1992.

A comprehensive monumental inscription survey has been completed by the 'Highland Family History Society'. This survey does not include photos of each stone. Please contact Chairperson, John Durham for copies of the report.
J Aitken : 18/12/02

Visited during the Highland Kirkyards project, run by Highland Buildings Preservation Trust. Rural graveyard still in use surrounded by stone walls. There is both a ruined late medieval chapel within the graveyard and an adjacent roofed 19th century crow stepped mausoleum. <1> <2>

The church was removed from the listing in August 2015 as part of a project looking at dual designations of sites in the Highlands, though it remains a scheduled monument. <3>

The scheduling of the church was amended by Historic Environment Scotland in 2018. The schedule excludes all grave markers and memorials post-dating 1850, the mausoleum and associated crypt and any active burial lairs. <4>

GIS spatial data amended in 2019 according to location of site as seen on modern OS mapping <5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 6651 5473 (61m by 69m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH65SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish KNOCKBAIN

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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