MHG8121 - Old Parish Church and Burial Ground, Alness

Summary

A post-Reformation and later re-modelled church retaining elements of a medieval core within the standing fabric. The structure survives to wallhead height.

Type and Period (3)

  • CHURCH (Built, Norse - 1058 AD to 1227 AD (at some time))
  • CHURCH (Extended, 19th Century - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CHURCH (Altered, 18th Century - 1701 AD to 1800 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

See also: NH66NW0097 Graveyard
J Aitken : 12/12/02
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NH66NW 2 6448 6906
This church was said to have been out of use for about 20 years prior to 1963. It bears a date-stone '1775' at SW corner eave, and two dated '1629' at base of the belfry.
Visited by OS 5 May 1963.

This church, now roofless (HBD No. 10) has a 1672 Novar Aisle together with a later extension to N and a burial-enclosure of 1671 to E. Datestones comemmorate fact that main body of church in its existing form dates from 1625 and was renovated 1775. However, its basic rectangular plan and orientation suggest a medieval origin, and on the inner face of NE wall there is a blocked-up arched opening, in all likelihood a medieval tomb-recess.
G Stell 1986; Information from NMRS record sheet RCR/1/1. <1>
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ARCHITECT: Ross & Joass (I.A. Sept 16, 1862) Repairs

Restored by HBPT see assoc docs for info from Annual Report and Accounts 2000.
EM 23/08/2004

This monument has been assessed by Historic Scotland as being of national importance and worthy of scheduling.
This is a good example of a post-Reformation and later re-modelled church retaining elements of a medieval core within the standing fabric (largely within the N and W walls). It was one of several churches under the control of Fortrose Cathedral.
Documentary evidence suggests that the church existed before 1227 and the rectangular, E-W alignment of the basic structure supports this. Along the north side the walls are as much as 1m thick, which indicates the survival of earlier fabric. The building was extended to a T shape by the two 17th-century burial aisles discussed above, and a northwards extension was added during the 19th century. The wallhead was increased during the 18th century (possibly earlier) to improve loft space and the south façade was redesigned with larger windows to improve natural lighting around the pulpit. Memorials incorporated into the south, east and north walls are still legible. <2>


OPS, 1855, Origines parochiales Scotiae: the antiquities ecclesiastical and territorial of the parishes of Scotland, Vol.2, pt.2, 473 (Text/Publication/Monograph). SHG342.


Hay, G, 1957, The architecture of Scottish post-Reformation churches, 1560-1843, 88, 169, 194, 272 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2307.


Cowan, I B, 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 6 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG367.


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, 24, No. 204 (Text/Report). SHG2670.


<1> Stell, G, 1986, Architecture and society in Easter Ross before 1707, 125 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG3139.


<2> Historic Scotland, 12/2008, Proposal to Schedule an Ancient Monument: Statement of National Importance (Text/Report). SHG24045.

Sources/Archives (6)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NH 6448 6907 (28m by 22m)
Map sheet NH66NW
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish ALNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (4)

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