Rannoch / Killichonan / Kilchonain Parish Church

Rannoch, Killichonan graveyard

Summary description

The site of the church is thought to have been at the graveyard at Killichonan, on the north shore of Loch Rannoch, but there are no structural remains.

Historical outline

Dedication: St Comgan

While the dedication of the church of Rannoch points to early origins, there is no surviving record of the existence of the church or parish before its listing as ‘Rathmeth’ in Bagimond’s Roll in 1274.(1) At that date it was a free parsonage and it evidently remained unappropriated throughout the pre-Reformation period, and continued so after 1560.(2) There appear to be no surviving references to the church between 1274 and the sixteenth century. One of the first clergy to be named as serving Rannoch was James Gray, who witnessed a charter as rector of the church and a chaplain in the collegiate church of St Salvator at St Andrews in May 1506.(3) It is unlikely that he was a resident at his parish church and it is probable that Rannoch was served by a chaplain. On Gray’s death before October 1518, it emerges that the patronage of the church lay in the hands of the king,(4) but it is unclear if this was an ancient arrangement. The patronage remained in royal hands down to the Reformation.(5)

Notes

1. SHS Misc, vi, 47, 72. The editor of the source misidentified this church as Rait in Gowrie, but its placing in a sequence of churches in Atholl and Drumalban make it certain that this Rannoch.

2. Donaldson (ed.), Thirds of Benefices, 16.

3. RMS, ii, no 2971.

4. RSS, i, no 3031.

5. RSS, iv.no 276.

Architectural description

The parish was reconstituted by the General Assembly in 1829 and again by the Court of Teinds in 1849. The church currently in use for worship is a building of 1829, which was erected in the village of Kinloch Rannoch to the designs of William Thomson, under the terms of the 1823 Act for the Building of Additional Places of Worship in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. It is believed, however, that the medieval church was in the walled graveyard at Killichonan, about 12.5 kilometres to the west of that church, though nothing remains visible of any church there.

Bibliography

Cowan, I.B., 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh, 168.

Donaldson, G. 1949, Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices, (Scottish History Society), Edinburgh, 16.

Dunlop, A.I., 1939, ‘Bagimond’s Roll, statement of the tenths of the kingdom of Scotland’, Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vi, 1-77, at 47, 72.

Gifford, J., 2007, The Buildings of Scotland, Perth and Kinross, New Haven and London, 469.

Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum, 1882, Edinburgh, ii (1424-1513), no 2971.

Registrum Secreti Sigilli Regum Scotorum, 1908-82, ed. J.M. Thomson et al., Edinburgh, 1, no 3031; iv, no 276.

Map

Images

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  • 1. Rannoch, Killichonan graveyard

  • 2. Rannoch Church, interior

  • 3. Rannoch Church, exterior