Dunino Parish Church

Dunino Church, exterior, from south east

Summary description

The medieval church was evidently a rectangle with a lateral north aisle. It was rebuilt in 1826 and extended in 1928 and 1997.

Historical outline

Dedication: unknown

First reference to a church of Dunino occurs in the accounts of the papal tax-collector in Scotland in the mid-1270s.  As the church of ‘Donethae’ it is first listed in 1275 in a pairing with the church of Cults, valued at a collective taxation of 3 merks 4s.(1)  It appears separately in the roll for the same year as the church of ‘Dunuenanth’, with a charge of 9d ‘augmentation’,(2) and then a third time as the church of ‘Duninaght’ alone and assessed for the same taxation of 3 merks 4s as it first appeared when paired with Cults.(3)  In the assessment for two terms of the second tax year it was again paired with Cults as the church of ‘Dunenath’, assessed at 24 shillings.(4)  However, this recording is read, Dunino was at that time still a free parsonage.

It continued as an independent parish down into the fifteenth century, with occasional rectors being named in papal records from the mid-fourteenth century.(5)  In 1450 both the parsonage and the vicarage of Dunino were annexed by Bishop James Kennedy of St Andrews to his new collegiate church of St Salvator in St Andrews, where it was to fund the prebend of the bachelor of theology in the college.(6)  Prebendaries are well-recorded thereafter.  In 1460, for example, the prebend was held by James Ogilvy, a graduate of the University of St Andrews and member of Bishop Kennedy’s household.(7)  In 1518 Peter Chaplain, licensee in Holy Writs, was recorded as rector of the church.(8) From the date of the annexation in 1450, the cure was served by a vicar pensioner, whose income was recorded at £8 at the Reformation.(9)

Notes

1. A I Dunlop (ed), ‘Bagimond’s Roll: Statement of the Tenths of the Kingdom of Scotland’, Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vi (1939), 37.

2. Dunlop (ed), ‘Bagimond’s Roll’, 39.

3. Dunlop (ed), ‘Bagimond’s Roll’, 40.

4. Dunlop (ed), ‘Bagimond’s Roll’, 62.

5. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, iii, 1342-1362, ed W H Bliss and C Johnson (London, 1897), 315; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Petitions to the Pope, ed W H Bliss (London, 1896), 539; Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, i, 1418-1422, eds E R Lindsay and A I Cameron (Scottish History Society, 1934), 218.

6. R G Cant, The College of St Salvator (Edinburgh, 1950), 54.

7. Copiale Prioratus Sanctiandree, ed J H Baxter (Oxford, 1930), 496.

8. NRS GD247/365.

9. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 90.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: Parsonage and vicarage erected in a prebend of the Bachelor of Theology at St Salvators College in 1450; vicar pensioner thereafter.(1)

Place Names of Fife vol. 3 and Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland: (J.M. Mackinley) make no reference to a dedication.(2)

1349 Walter de Wardlaw (MA) holds the church.(3)

1378 Petition on behalf of Thomas de Tornellis; previous rector John de Tornellis has been dead for some time.(4)

1419 Nicholas de Stitchel collated to Dunenath [editor of Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome suggests that this is Dunino], void by death of John de Stevelyn.(5)

1460 (13 Nov) James Ogilvy, graduate of St Andrews university, holds the church of Dunino, part of the household of James Kennedy.(6)

1504 Church described as a prebend of St Salvator’s college. William Lunson, regent of the college instituted to the prebend but Patrick Simson intruded and molested William. Patrick travelled to Rome to argue his case but was unable to discuss it due to an outbreak of plague in the city and died shortly after [not specified whether he died of plague].(7)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church vicarage held by Robert Smyth, value £8 (22 marks with corpse presents etc).(8)

1647 (27 June) £2 paid for lime for the bellhouse; on 12 Sept £4 2s was paid for the stock of the bell and £4 2s to the smith for his workmanship.(9)

1648 (19 Mar) £3 paid for buying lime and stones for pointing the kirk; more lime and stones paid for on 9 Apr.(10)

1650 (8 Sept) £7 4s given to a glass wright for the glass windows.(11)

1653 (10 Apr) £3 15s for glass windows for the kirk.(12)

1656 (16 Aug) Visitation of the church by the Presbytery of St Andrews notes that money has been taken out of the poor box for mending the glass windows of the kirk. The heritors are to reimburse them cash.(13)

1672 (20 Oct) Payment for lime for repairing the church. More lime bought the following year on 6 July.(14)

1683 (22 July) £4 given to George Millar, slater, for pointing the kirk.(15)

1685 (12 July) George Brown, slater, paid 23s for pointing the kirk and mending a hole in the east of the church.(16)

1694 (22 Aug) James Thompson, minister of Dunino reports the ruinous condition of the church and manse. The subsequent visitation on the 29 April noted that the church and manse were likely to be ruined for want of necessary reparation. On 20 May Henry Dear, wright, James Brown, slater reported that it would cost 270 10s Scots to repair the ruins of the church and manse [no details].(17)

1702 (19 May) Visitation ordered to check on the reparation made in Mr Knox’s time and consider the ruins of the church and manse. On 26 May Andrew Falconer, wright, glasier and slater and Hugh Dryburgh, mason, noted that Mr Knox had spend 201 18s on the manse in 1698-1699. They reported that £74 was required for mason and slate work on the kirk (210 in total with the rest on the manse).(18)

Statistical Account of Scotland (William West (session clerk and schoolmaster), 1793): ‘The church is one of the smallest of country churches, perhaps with an aisle and a small porch by one of the front doors. It is uncertain when it was built; but some persons are perfectly sure it had been very lately and very materially repaired’.(19)

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev James Roger, 1837): ‘The church of Dunino was built in 1826, and is a neat gothic edifice, with an altar window in the west gable’.(20) [no reference to older building]

Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches: (George Hay): 1826; late additions and furniture, rectangular with a severely altered interior. Gothic revival belfry early 19th century.(21)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 52-53.

2. Taylor & Markus, The Place-Names of Fife. Volume Three, pp. 239-240.

3. CPL, iii, 315.

4. CPP, 539.

5.CSSR, i, 218.

6. Copiale Prioratus Sanctiandree, p.496.

7. CPL, xviii, no. 411.

8. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 90.

9. NRS Dunino Kirk Session, 1647-1697, CH2/405/1, fols. 133.

10. NRS Dunino Kirk Session, 1647-1697, CH2/405/1, fol. 133.

11. NRS Dunino Kirk Session, 1647-1697, CH2/405/1, fol. 34.

12. NRS Dunino Kirk Session, 1647-1697, CH2/405/1, fol. 54.

13. NRS Presbytery of St Andrews, Minutes, 1656-1687, CH2/1132/19, fols. 5-7.

14. NRS Dunino Kirk Session, 1647-1697, CH2/405/1, fols. 210 & 213.

15. NRS Dunino Kirk Session, 1647-1697, CH2/405/1, fol. 215.

16. NRS Dunino Kirk Session, 1647-1697, CH2/405/1, fol. 261.

17. NRS Presbytery of St Andrews, Minutes, 1693-1698, CH2/1132/20, fols. 56, 108-109 & 110-112.

18. NRS Presbytery of St Andrews, Minutes, 1699-1705, CH2/1132/21, fols. 194 & 196-198.

19. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1793), xi, 363.

20. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1837), ix, 372.

21. Hay, The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches, pp. 118, 170 & 257.

Bibliography

NRS Dunino Kirk Session, 1647-1697, CH2/405/1.

NRS Presbytery of St Andrews, Minutes, 1656-1687, CH2/1132/19.

NRS Presbytery of St Andrews, Minutes, 1693-1698, CH2/1132/20.

NRS Presbytery of St Andrews, Minutes, 1699-1705, CH2/1132/21.

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 1418-22, 1934, ed. E.R. Lindsay and A.I. Cameron, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

Copiale Prioratus Sanctiandree. The Letter-Book of James Haldenstone, Prior of St Andrews (1418-1443), 1930, ed. J. H. Baxter, Oxford.

Cowan, I.B., 1967, The parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish 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.

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

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

Taylor, S & Markus, G., 2009, The Place-Names of Fife. Volume Three. St Andrews and the East Neuk, Donington.

Architectural description

At the time of Bishop James Kennedy’s foundation of St Salvator’s College in St Andrews, in 1450, the parsonage and vicarage of Dunino were together appropriated to the prebend of the bachelor of theology attached to the college. The cure after then was served by a vicar pensioner.(1)

In the 1790s the building was described  as ‘one of the smallest of country churches...with an aile and a small porch by one of its front doors’; it was also said that it was thought to have been ‘very lately and very materially repaired’.(2) A plan by David Wilson among the heritors’ records shows it to have been an elongated rectangle with five windows and two doors in the south wall, and a laterally projecting rectangular aisle off the middle of the north wall, though there is no evidence of the porch mentioned in the 1790s.(3)

In 1826 a report was commissioned from James Gillespie Graham, who suggested complete rebuilding while retaining the roof rafters and slates and the pulpit. The advice to rebuild was followed, with James Hutton and Alex Keay as contractors.(4) The result was a small but carefully detailed building with four Y-traceried windows in the south wall, two doors and two Y-traceried windows in the north wall, three-light windows with rectilinear tracery in the east and west walls, and a bellcote over the west gable.

In 1908 Peter Macgregor Chalmers was asked to produce designs for enlarging and remodelling the church, but it was only in 1928 that remodelling was carried out to a modified design by J. Jeffrey Waddell and Young. The main features of this work were the addition of a small rectangular east sanctuary, lit by Gillespie Graham’s relocated east window, and a porch over the north-west door.(5)

The most recent addition has been a porch off the northern end of the west wall, designed by Murray, Jack, Fisher, Purdom, and in advance of its construction archaeological investigations were carried out in 1997 by SUAT Ltd.(6) In the course of that work evidence was found to suggest that Gillespie Graham had adopted the west wall of the previous church beneath his own west wall. At the same time a fragmentary foundation on an east-west axis was located, though there was insufficient evidence on which to base any firm conclusions as to the significance of that foundation.

Notes

1. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, pp. 52-53.

2. Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-99, vol. 11, p. 363.

3. National Records of Scotland, RHP6698; HR 64/1, p. 11.

4. Howard Colvin, Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 4th ed., New Haven and London, 2008, p. 441; National Records of Scotland, HR 64/1.

5. John Gifford, The Buildings of Scotland, Fife, London. 1988, p. 198.

6. David Bowler, Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1997, p. 38; Adrian Cox, ‘Grave consequences: a consideration of the artefact evidence from four post-medieval graveyard excavations’, Tayside and Fife Archaeological Journal, vol.4, 1988, pp.,  290-291; David Bowler, personal communication.

Map

Images

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

  • 1. Dunino Church, exterior, from south east

  • 2. Dunino Church, exterior, from north

  • 3. Dunino Church, exterior, from south west

  • 4. Dunino Church, exterior, gable cross

  • 5. Dunino Church, boiler room

  • 6. Dunino Church, excavation in 1997

  • 7. Dunino Church, plan of excavated foundations, 1997 (SUAT Ltd)