Dunbarney / Pottie / Kirkpottie Parish Church

Dunbarney churchyard, 2

Summary description

No structural remains of the medieval church, which was probably located on a raised area in the churchyard. Relocated to a new site in 1684 or 1689, and again rebuilt 1787.

Historical outline

Dedication: unknown

The origins of the church and parish of Dunbarney are utterly obscure.  No parsonage or vicarage is recorded in the rolls of the papal tax-collector in Scotland in the 1270s, which would suggest that any church had already been fully appropriated to another institution, but it is recorded as Dunbarney in 1291 and in 1300 one William of Eaglesham, described as ‘rector of Dunbarney’, witnessed an act of William Lamberton, bishop of St Andrews.(1)  Rectors of the church thereafter occur regularly through the fourteenth century and down to the 1450s.(2)

The independence of the church ended in 1467/8 when the parsonage was annexed to the capitular mensa of the collegiate church of St Giles in Edinburgh,(3) but a vicarage was already in existence before 1466 when Thomas Lathrisk, vicar of Duddingston, and William Lawson, vicar of Dunbarney, supplicated for an exchange of benefices.(4)  The union of the parsonage of Dunbarney to the collegiate church appears to have come about through the personal connection of William Forbes, who was provost of the collegiate church and parson of the parish church.(5)   This situation was confirmed by a supplication to the pope of 12 March 1468 in which Forbes, who describes himself as ‘parson of the parish church of Pottie, now called Dunbarney’, requested papal provision to the provostry. He indicated his willingness to resign Pottie/Dunbarney into the hands of the pope but supplicated that the parsonage should then be annexed and incorporated along with its annexed chapels (the total valued at £50) to the capitual in proprios usus.(6)  A perpetual vicarage was certainly instituted thereafter, being supplicated for in 1477 by one John Fresal.(7)

At the Reformation the parsonage teinds remained annexed to the collegiate church of St Giles, where a portion set at £30 supported a prebend of St Giles.(8)  The whole fruits of the parsonage, including the annexed chapels of Pottie and Moncrieff, were accounted for in the rolls of the collectors of Thirds of Benefices.(9)  In the same accounts, the third of the vicarage was assessed at £4 8s 10¾d.(10)

Notes

1. Vetera Monumenta Hibernorum et Scotorum Historiam Illustrantia, ed A Theiner (Rome, 1864), no.cccxlv; Liber Cartarum Prioratus Sancti Andree in Scotia (Bannatyne Club, 1841), 120.

2. See, Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Petitions to the Pope, ed W H Bliss (London, 1896), 255; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, ed W H Bliss (London, 1893), 540; Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, v, 1447-1471, eds J Kirk, R J Tanner and A I Dunlop (Glasgow, 1997), no.584.

3. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, xii, 1458-1471, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1933), 296-7.

4. Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, v, 1447-1471, eds J Kirk, R J Tanner and A I Dunlop (Glasgow, 1997), no.1123 [hereafter CSSR, v].

5.CSSR, v, no.1258.

6.CSSR, v, no.1260.

7. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, xiii, 1471-1484, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1955), 83.

8. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 111-113.

9. G Donaldson (ed), Accounts of the Collectors of Thirds of Benefices, (Scottish History Society, 1949), 16.

10. Donaldson (ed), Thirds of Benefices, 13.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: In 1467-68 it would appear that Pottie had originally been the name of the church then called Dunbarney. Annexed to the capitular mensa of St Giles Collegiate church in that year; both the parsonage and vicarage were annexed, with the cure served by a vicar pensioner.(1)

Mackinlay suggests that the name Dunbarney derives from St Brendan. In the adjoining parish of Abernethy there was a well dedicated to the Irish saint.(2)

1353 Petition for the church on behalf of Thomas de Harcours (MA and advanced scholar of canon and civil law) by John, King of France.(3)

1354 Rector of Dunbarney (unnamed) witnesses a charter of the earl of Fife.(4)

1368 Church given to Richard de Cheshelm (David II’s clerk and former student of university of Paris).(5)

1456 Rector Thomas Merton dead; David Ogilvy (MA) supplicates for parsonage, value £40.(6)

1466 Exchange between William Lawson (vicar of Duddingston) and Thomas Locriske of the vicarage of Dunbarney.(7)

1468 William Forbes provost of St Giles, is also parson of Dunbarney (nephew of James Kennedy, bishop of St Andrews); church annexed and incorporated into capitular mensa of St Giles.(8)  [presumably Locriske stays on, as he is still described as rector in 1477 below]

1477 John Fresal (MA) collated to perpetual vicarage, void because Locriske perpetual chaplain at altar of St John in Abernethy (value £9).(9)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church revenues, £30, pay for prebend of St Giles in college of the same name, Edinburgh.(10)

Account of Collectors of Thirds of Benefices (G. Donaldson): Third of vicarage £4 8s 10 3/4d. Third of parsonage along with Pottie and Moncrieffe, £180.(11)

1587 Reference to the churches of Dunbarney, Pottie and Moncrieff as pertaining to the provost of Trinity College, Edinburgh.(12)

1623 (29 Oct) A new minister was instituted at Dunbarney (John Hall); the church is under the patronage of the Archbishop of St Andrews.(13)

1642 (17 Aug) Following an act of the General Assembly anent the patronage of churches, the Presbytery of Perth records the patrons of churches within its bounds; Perth belongs to the town, Kinnoul belongs to the earl of Kinnoul, Scone belongs to the king, Cambusmichael also belongs to the king, Kilspindie also belongs to the king being a former kirk of abbey of Scone, Errol belongs to the earl of Kinnoul, Kinfauns belongs to the king being a former kirk of the abbey of Scone, Rhynd belongs to the king being a former church of the priory of Pittenweem, Arngask belongs to the king being a former church of Cambuskenneth, Dunbarney belongs to the town of Edinburgh, Forteviot belongs to the (old) college of St Andrews, Methven belongs to the Duke of Lennox and Luncarty belongs to the king.(14)

1673 (14 May) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Perth, at the request of the minister and heritors, to hear a complaint by Lawrence Craigie of Kilgerstone on the part of the heritors regarding the maladministration of the poor money. The money has not been properly distributed since the new minister John Weymss (brethren ordained to sort it out).(15)

1696 (15 July) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of Perth notes that the church lacks yard dykes.(16)

Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev David Beatson, 1794): ‘the church and manse were originally situated at the extremity of the parish, to the west, which being very incommodious, they were in the year 1689, built near the Bridge of Earn’.(17)

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev Alex Cummings, 1842): ‘The church of Kirk Pottie was situated about 3 miles south of the Bridge of Earn. Its ruins have been swept away within the last 12 years and the site on which it stood, with the burial ground belonging to it, are now occupied by the garden and dwelling house of the tenant of Kirk Pottie mill’.(18)

‘The present church was erected in 1787. Previous to the year 1787 a church stood a few yards west of the present site, it was erected in 1684’. (19) [note different date from Statistical Account]

Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches: (George Hay): 1787; late additions and interior recast.(20)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, pp. 50-51.

2. Mackinlay, Non-Scriptural Dedications, p. 69.

3. CPP, 255.

4. CPL, 540.

5. CPL, iv, 68.

6. CSSR, v, no.584.

7. CPL, xii, 466-7.

8. CSSR, v no.1258, CPL, xii, 297.

9. CPL, xiii, 83.

10. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 111-113.

11. Donaldson, Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices, 13 & 16.

12. Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, iv, 486.

13. NRS Presbytery of Perth, Minutes, 1618-1647, CH2/299/1, fol. 94.

14. NRS Presbytery of Perth, Minutes, 1618-1647, CH2/299/1, fol. 423.

15. NRS Presbytery of Perth, Minutes, 1662-1681, CH2/299/4, fols. 55-60.

16. NRS Presbytery of Perth, Minutes, 1690-1700, CH2/299/5, fol. 147.

17. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1794), viii, 404.

18. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1842), x, 810.

19. Ibid, 821.

20. Hay, The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches, pp. 189 & 269.

Bibliography

NRS Presbytery of Perth, Minutes, 1618-1647, CH2/299/1.

NRS Presbytery of Perth, Minutes, 1662-1681, CH2/299/4.

NRS Presbytery of Perth, Minutes, 1690-1700, CH2/299/5.

Calendar of entries in the Papal registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland; Papal letters, 1893-, ed. W.H. Bliss, London.

Calendar of entries in the Papal registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland; Papal Petitions, 1893-, ed. W.H. Bliss, London.

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1447-71, 1997, ed. J. Kirk, R.J. Tanner and A.I. Dunlop, Edinburgh.

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

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

Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, A.D 1403-1528, 1869-1982, ed.  J. D Marwick (Scottish Burgh Record Society), Edinburgh.

Hay, G., 1957, The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches, 1560-1843, Oxford.

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

Mackinlay, J.M, 1914, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland. Non-Scriptural Dedications, Edinburgh.

New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, Edinburgh and London.

Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-9, ed. J. Sinclair, Edinburgh.

Architectural description

In 1467/8 the church of Dunbarney, together with its pendicles of Pottie and Moncrief, was appropriated to the mensa of the chapter of the collegiate church of St Giles in Edinburgh.(1) The medieval church is assumed to have stood in a churchyard that is now adjacent to the policies of Dunbarney House. It was relocated to a site on the west side of Bridge of Earn at a date variously given as 1684 or 1689,(2) shortly before Dunbarney House was built.

It is said that the medieval church was demolished to provide materials for that new church.

However, that later church was itself replaced by a building a short distance to its east that bears the date 17/87 on the keystones of the two central windows of its south front, and any medieval masonry that was re-used is no longer identifiable. The birdcage bellcote from the church of the 1680s is thought to be that which is now on Belfry Cottage, part of the office buildings of 1772 at Dunbarney House.(3)

The medieval church is likely to have stood on a raised area at the centre of the graveyard close to Dunbarney House. It seems possible that a railed burial enclosure for members of the Beatson family, towards the east end of that area, is within the area of the medieval chancel.

Notes

1. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, pp. 50-51.

2. The date 1689 is given in the Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-99, vol. 8, p. 404; the date 1684 is given in New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 10, p. 822.

3. John Gifford, the Buildings of Scotland, Perth and Kinross, New Haven and London, 2007, p. 329.

Map

Images

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  • 1. Dunbarney churchyard, 2

  • 2. Dunbarney churchyard, 1

  • 3. Dunbarney churchyard, monument, 1

  • 4. Dunbarney churchyard, monument, 2

  • 5. Dunbarney Church, 1

  • 6. Dunbarney Church, 2

  • 7. Dunbarney Church, date stone, 1

  • 8. Dunbarney Church, date stone, 2