Kilbryde / Kilbride Parish Church

Kilbryde Churchyard and mausoleum

Summary description

The Campbell of Aberuchill Mausoleum of 1864 may stand on the site of the medieval church; it is located within a historic graveyard.

Historical outline

Dedication: St Bride/Brigid

The first record of a parish of Kilbride occurs 1179-c.1195 when one John, parson of Kilbride, witnessed a charter of Simon, bishop of Dunblane.(1) The church of St Bride was not amongst the properties originally granted to Inchaffray by Earl Gillebrigte of Strathearn at the time of his refoundation of the monastery as an Augustinian priory in 1200, and nor does it appear in the papal confirmation of the canons’ possessions given in 1203. There is no specific charter recording its gift to Inchaffray, but it appears to have been given to the canons at some date between 1203 and 1219. In the latter year it was named in the list of properties confirmed in Inchaffray’s possession in Earl Gillebrigte’s general charter and confirmed by King Alexander II in January 1219/20.(2

Kilbride was one of the ten churches in Inchaffray’s possession which was confirmed in proprios usus to the canons in the vicarage settlement agreed with the dean and chapter of Dunblane in February 1239.(3) By that agreement, the whole fruits of the church were appropriated to the canons with a portion assigned for support of a vicar. The cure was still served by a vicar pensionary at the Reformation, while 40 shillings from the parsonage and vicarage was allocated towards the support of the nine chaplainries in the choir of Dunblane cathedral.(4)

Notes

1. North Berwick Charters, no 4.

2. Inchaffray Charters, nos XXXIX, XL.

3. Inchaffray Charters, no XLVII.

4. Kirk (ed.), Book of Assumptions, 343.

Architectural description

The parish was united with that of Dunblane in the sixteenth century, and the parish church may have been abandoned soon afterwards. The most likely site for the parish church is where there is now a mausoleum of the Campbells of Aberuchill, on the east bank of the Ardoch Burn. That mausoleum is near the northern edge of a roughly quadrangular graveyard that contains an interesting group of post-Reformation gravestones. Apart from a number of eighteenth-century stones with memento mori symbols, there are some roughly formed ledger slabs with what appear to be simply incised trade emblems that may be of seventeenth-century date. To the south-east of the mausoleum is a cylindrical drained basin that possibly originated as a medieval font.

The mausoleum itself is a symmetrical structure in a Gothic idiom and is dated to 1864; it replaces a building said to have been reconstructed in 1750. Its oriented alignment and dimensions (apart from the buttresses) of 10.73 from east to west and 6.26 metres from north to south may indicate that it stands on part of the footprint of its medieval predecessor.

Bibliography

Carte monialium de Northberic, 1847, ed. C. Innes, (Bannatyne Club), Edinburgh, no 4.

Charters, Bulls and other Documents relating to the Abbey of Inchaffray, 1908, (Scottish History Society), Edinburgh, nos XXXIX, XL, XLVII.

Cowan, I.B., 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish Record Society), Edinburgh, 95.

Gifford, J. and Walker, F.A., 2002, The Buildings of Scotland, Stirling and Central Scotland, New Haven and London, 546-7.

Kirk, J., 1995, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, (British Academy) Oxford, 343.

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

Map

Images

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  • 1. Kilbryde Churchyard and mausoleum

  • 2. Kilbryde Churchyard, basin

  • 3. Kilbryde Churchyard, monument 4

  • 4. Kilbryde Churchyard, monument 3

  • 5. Kilbryde Churchyard, monument 2

  • 6. Kilbryde Churchyard, monument 1

  • 7. Kilbryde Churchyard, Campbell mausoleum