Moneydie Parish Church

Moneydie Church, exterior, from south

Summary description

The present building is a structure dating from 1813. However, the remains of earlier memorials within the graveyard make clear that this was the location of previous places of worship, and it was presumably the location of the medieval parish church. Nothing is known of the architecture of the earlier buildings.

Historical outline

Dedication: unknown

There is no surviving record of the church of Moneydie before the early thirteenth century. It is first noted in c.1218 in a charter of Malcolm, earl of Fife, when Alan, parson of ‘Munithin’ and chaplain of the earl, was named as a witness.(1) At an unknown date between 1218 and 1274 the parsonage was erected into a prebend in Dunkeld cathedral and a vicarage perpetual established to serve the cure.(2) A series of vicars can be identified in the sixteenth century and the division clearly remained in place at the Reformation.(3)

In the fifteenth century the prebend of Moneydie was the subject of litigation and competing supplications between rivals for possession.(4) Amidst these, in 1433, it is stated that the right of presentation to the vicarage of Moneydie was held by the prebendary. Like the prebend, the vicarage was the subject of rival supplications for provision at this date.(5)


1. Laing Charters, no 6

2. SHS Misc, vi, 47, 49, 74.

3. RSS, iv, no 1758; Kirk (ed.), Book of Assumptions, 87.

4. CSSR, iv, nos 6, 58, 80, 220b, 329, 375, 378a, 406, 842.

5. CSSR, iv, no 58.

Architectural description 

The existing parish church, which is no longer in use for worship, dates from 1813-14, and is thought to have been designed by the landowner, Sir Thomas Graham. The author of the entry in the Statistical Account described the church in existence in 1792 as ‘an old building’ that was ‘in a very miserable and poor condition’, and this was doubtlessly the reason for its reconstruction some twenty years later. Subsequently, the author of the entry in the New Statistical Account of 1845 described the new church as ‘very inconveniently placed’. However, the survival of many eighteenth-century memorials suggests that this churchyard was the long-established location of the parish church, and that no thought had been given to abandoning the established site of the church in favour of a more suitable location when it was rebuilt in 1813. There is no evidence of medieval fabric having been retained in the new building which, despite the trappings of a west tower and an entrance vestibule in the form of an eastern apse, is essentially a modestly gothicised preaching hall.

It may be mentioned here that the incised tomb slab of one of the holders of the prebendal stall of Moneydie is preserved at Dunkeld Cathedral, and is of particular interest for illustrating the dress of a cathedral canon. This slab commemorates Alexander Douglas, who died in 1548.


Calendar of the Laing Charters, 854-1837, 1899, ed. J. Anderson, Edinburgh, no 6.

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1433-47, 1983, ed. A.I. Dunlop and D MacLauchlan, Glasgow, nos 6, 58, 80, 220b, 329, 375, 378a, 406, 842.

Cowan, I.B., 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh, 149.

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, 49, 74.

Gifford, J., 2007, The Buildings of Scotland, Perth and Kinross, New Haven and London, 537-8.

Hay, G., 1957, The architecture of Scottish post-Reformation churches, Oxford, 269.

Kirk, J., 1995, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, (British Academy) Oxford, 87.

New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1845, Edinburgh and London, x, 207-8.

Registrum Secreti Sigilli Regum Scotorum, 1908-82, ed. J.M. Thomson et al., Edinburgh, iv, no 1758. 

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Canmore database.

Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-9, ed. J. Sinclair, Edinburgh, iii (1792), 274.



Click on any thumbnail to open the image gallery and slideshow.

  • 1. Moneydie Church, exterior, from south

  • 2. Moneydie Churchyard monument 4

  • 3. Moneydie Churchyard monument 3

  • 4. Moneydie Churchyard monument 2

  • 5. Moneydie Churchyard monument 1

  • 6. Moneydie Church, interior, looking west

  • 7. Moneydie Church, interior, looking east