Auchtergaven Parish Church

Auchtergaven Church, exterior, from west

Summary description

The burnt-out shell of the church, which was rebuilt in 1811-13, is in the village of Bankfoot. It was a large rectangular preaching hall with a western tower

Historical outline

Dedication: unknown

The early history of the church and parish of Auchtergaven are entirely obscure. It was recorded in the sixteenth century as one of the churches pertaining to the episcopal mensa of Dunkeld and, since it is not recorded in Bagimond’s Roll in the 1270s, it seems likely that this annexation was of early date.(1) In 1446, one John de Ceres, priest, of Brechin diocese, supplicated the pope for provision to the vicarage perpetual of Auchtergaven, valued at £8 annually, and set out in his supplication a detailed account of the recent possession of the vicarage.(2) Litigation over the vicarage followed between John de Ceres, John de Leuchars and John Donaldson.(3) The last of these men appears to have been successful in obtaining collation to the church, for in 1449 he was styled vicar perpetual of Auchtergaven when he witnessed a charter.(4) Another vicar perpetual of Auchtergaven, sir Thomas Greig, was recorded in 1488.(5) At the Reformation, the vicarage was described as annexed to the prebend of Inchmagranachan in the cathedral church of Dunkeld.(6) Although the low value of what is described consistently as a vicarage perpetual could indicate that it was in fact only a vicarage pensionary, and the prebend of Inchmagranachan was in existence from before 1274,(7) from the surviving references it seems that this annexation was of late date and probably occurred in the early sixteenth century.

The church makes a few brief appearances in the accounts of the Granitar of Dunkeld in the early sixteenth century. In the accounts for 28 December 1513 to 6 March 1514, three bolls of meal were paid to John Sklaitter for working in the slate quarry of Dulbeithtey and repairing the choir at Auchtergaven.(8) It can be assumed that this repair work probably involved the roof. In the accounts for 4 February 1514 to 24 January 1515, Alexander Smytht received 11s 4d for completing an iron window in the choir of the church.(9) Further work on the choir around this date is recorded in the Chamberlain’s accounts, where disbursement of 6s 6d was entered in the period 27 March 1514 to 29 January 1515 to Robert Sudas ‘for smithy work at the window of the choir of Ouchtirgavin’. (10)

(See also the entry on Obney.)

Notes

1. Rentale Dunkeldense, 12; Kirk (ed.), Book of Assumptions, 302, 342, 346.

2. CSSR, iv, no  1267.

3. CSSR, iv, nos 1280, 1286.

4. RMS, ii, no  352.

5. RMS, ii, no  2017.

6. Kirk (ed.), Book of Assumptions, 311.

7. SHS Misc, vi, 49.

8. Rentale Dunkeldense, 140.

9. Rentale Dunkeldense, 148.

10. Rentale Dunkeldense, 266.

Architectural description

In the Statistical Account, written in 1795, it was stated that the church was an old one, ‘its length disproportioned to its breadth’, and that it was in the form of a cross; it was said to be in poor repair at that time. It was rebuilt in 1811-14 to the designs of John Stewart, with modifications in 1898. However it was burnt out in 2004, and at present it is a roofless shell, with a new church having been built to the west of Bankfoot, the village within which Auchtergaven was absorbed in the nineteenth century. The likelihood that the parish church has always been on or near the site of the church of 1811 is supported by the considerable number of eighteenth-century gravestones within the graveyard to its south. However, there are no signs of any earlier work in the fabric of the church, the internal masonry of which has been left exposed by the fire.

Bibliography

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1433-47, 1983, ed. A.I. Dunlop and D MacLauchlan, Glasgow, nos 1267, 1280, 1286.

Cowan, I.B., 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh, 10.

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 49.

Gifford, J., 2007, The Buildings of Scotland, Perth and Kinross, New Haven and London, 191-2.

Kirk, J., 1995, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, (British Academy) Oxford, 302, 342, 346.

Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum, 1886, iv (1546-1580), Edinburgh, nos 352, 2017.

Rentale Dunkeldense, 1915, ed. R.K. Hannay, (Scottish History Society), Edinburgh, 12, 140, 148, 266

Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-9, ed. J. Sinclair, Edinburgh, xvii (1796), 552.

Map

Images

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  • 1. Auchtergaven Church, exterior, from west

  • 2. Auchtergaven Churchyard monuments 3

  • 3. Auchtergaven Churchyard monument 2

  • 4. Auchtergaven Churchyard monuments 1

  • 5. Auchtergaven Church, interior, west wall

  • 6. Auchtergaven Church, interior, east wall

  • 7. Auchtergaven Church, exterior, from south east