Lintrathen Parish Church

Lintrathen Church, exterior, from south east

Summary description

Rebuilt in 1802, probably on the site of the medieval church, with a lateral north aisle added in 1875. No longer in ecclesiastical use.

Historical outline

Dedication: St Medan/Modan?(1)

Lintrathen’s early origins, suggested by its possible association with St Medan or Modan, are confirmed by the fragment of possibly ninth-century interlace-decorated cross-slab that are built into the wall of the church close to the western vestry door.(2)  There is, however, no surviving documentary evidence for the existence of the church and parish until 1275 when the unappropriated church of Luncrethyn was recorded in the accounts of the papal tax-collector in Scotland as paying 20s in the first year of the taxation.(3)

At an unknown date between 1275 and 1393 the parsonage of the church was appropriated to the Augustinian priory of Inchmahome in Menteith.  On 14 June 1393 Thomas Bell was provided to the perpetual vicarage of Lintrathen by Pope Clement VII, the previous vicar having been transferred to the church of Dunlop in Glasgow diocese.(4)  Subsequent vicars perpetual of the church are recorded through the fifteenth century but it is only in 1445 that the annexation of the parsonage to Inchmahome is referred to explicitly in a surviving record when the fruits of the church were assigned as part of the pension arrangements for Patrick of Cardross, former prior.(5)  In 1477 and 1478 the prior of Inchmahome presented successive vicars to the church.(6)

The union of the parsonage to the priory continued at the Reformation.  At that time it was recorded as being worth 200 merks annually to Inchmahome.(7)  There is no record of the value of the vicarage at that time.

Notes

1. J M Mackinlay, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland: Non-scriptural Dedications (Edinburgh, 1914), 150.  There was apparently a bell associated with the saint kept in the parish.

2. http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/318443/details/lintrathen+parish+church/ accessed 18 November 2014.

3. A I Dunlop (ed), ‘Bagimond’s Roll: Statement of the Tenths of the Kingdom of Scotland’, Miscellany of the Scottish History Society, vi (1939), 38.

4. Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland of Clement VII of Avignon 1378-1394, ed C Burns (Scottish History Society, 1976), 190.

5. Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome, iv, 1433-1447, A I Dunlop and D MacLauchlan (Glasgow, 1983), no.1158.

6. Abstract of the Protocol Book of the Burgh of Stirling, 1469-84 (Edinburgh, 1896), 36; Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, xiii, 1471-1484, ed J A Twemlow (London, 1955), 610.

7. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 544, 548.

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: Apparently an independent parsonage in 1274, it was annexed to Inchmahome in 1431.(1)

Mackinlay notes that the church was dedicated to St Medan, where there was a bell associated with the saint.(2)

1393 Thomas Bell (student at University of Orleans) is perpetual vicar (void by transfer of John de Harwick).(3)

1395 Exchange between Thomas and David Fauconer.(4)

1422 Alexander de Carycors is confirmed as perpetual vicar of Lintrathen.(5)

1426 John de Benying (MA, secretary of James I and illegitimate son of a priest) is perpetual vicar.(6)

1429 Suit between Nicholas de Muirhouse and Gilbert de Denule regarding the vicarage; Nicholas is successful.(7)

1445 Retired prior of Inchmahome, Patrick Cardross (1419-45) assigned for life the fruits, rents and profits of Lintrathen.(8)

1477 Thomas, prior of Inchmahome, presents John Edmonstone to the vicarage of the parish church.(9)

1478 David Eroll presented to perpetual vicarage of Lintrathen by prior of Inchmahome.(10)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church parsonage with priory of Inchmahome, value 200 marks.(11)

1667 (13 Aug) Visitation of the church noted in the kirk session records. The Earl of Airlie, Lord Ogilvy and various minor Ogilvies are the main heritors. The minister complains that his stipend of 2 chalders of bear and 300 marks Scots, is inadequate. He also complains that his manse is ruinous and that he has no communion elements and has to pay for them out of his own pocket. Heritors agree to address these matters. [no references to the fabric which is therefore presumably in acceptable condition](12)

1670 (28 Aug) Thomas Whyte, slater, was paid 5s to point the church and carry out reparations.(13) 9 Oct James Bowman was paid for ‘lathen’ the church when it was slaited.(14)

1681 (29 June) Alex Adamson, mason paid £2 12s for repairing a ‘breach’ in the church.(15)

1683 (14 Oct) 5s given to John Lamb, mason, who was repairing the church. On 14 Nov 4s were given to the ‘wright’s men’ who were working at the church. Further payments were made to Lamb on 25 Nov, noting that he was still working on the church.(16)

1690 (24 Aug) £3 given to John… a slater, for taking the slates of the kirk many couples of which being broken, so that people were in danger to convene in it.(17)

1691 Throughout that year various payments to masons and from 9 Aug-27 Sept weekly payments to a slater working on the church.(18)

Statistical Account of Scotland (anon, 1791): ‘The church is an old, dark disproportioned fabric, built at two periods. The manse is a wretched hovel, covered with thatch.(19) [no location mentioned]

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev Francis Cannan, 1842): ‘The parish church is not conveniently situated. It is 8.5 miles from the northern extremity of the parish and only 1.5 from the southern boundary. It was built in 1802. The manse was built about the same time.(20) [No reference to the old church building]

Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches (George Hay): 1802; modified 1875, 1632 Burgerhuys bell, hearse house.(21)

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 133.

2. Mackinlay, Non-Scriptural Dedications, p. 150.

3. CPL, Clem, 190 & 194.

4. CPL, Ben, 36-37.

5. CSSR, i, 270.

6. CSSR, ii, 142.

7. CSSR, iii, 29, CPL, viii, 203.

8. CSSR, iv, no. 1158.

9. Abstract of the Prot Bk of Stirling, 1469-84, 36.

10. CPL, xiii, 610.

11. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 544 & 548.

12. NRS Lintrathen Kirk Session, 1664-1716, CH2/243/1, fols. 18-19.

13. NRS Lintrathen Kirk Session, 1664-1716, CH2/243/1, fol. 31.

14. NRS Lintrathen Kirk Session, 1664-1716, CH2/243/1, fol. 32.

15. NRS Lintrathen Kirk Session, 1664-1716, CH2/243/1, fol. 70.

16. NRS Lintrathen Kirk Session, 1664-1716, CH2/243/1, fol. 78.

17. NRS Lintrathen Kirk Session, 1664-1716, CH2/243/1, fol. 97.

18. NRS Lintrathen Kirk Session, 1664-1716, CH2/243/1, fols. 100-101.

19. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1791), xiii, 566.

20. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1842), xi, 640.

21. Hay, The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches, pp. 239 & 246.

Bibliography

NRS Lintrathen Kirk Session, 1664-1716, CH2/243/1.

Abstract of the Protocol Book of the Burgh of Stirling, 1469-84, 1896, Edinburgh.

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

Calendar of Papal letters to Scotland of Benedict XIII of Avignon, 1976, ed. F. McGurk, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

Calendar of Papal letters to Scotland of Clement VII of Avignon, 1976, ed. C. Burns, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

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

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1423-28, 1956, ed. A.I. Dunlop, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

Calendar of Scottish Supplications to Rome 1428-32, 1970, ed. A.I. Dunlop; and I.B. Cowan, (Scottish History Society) Edinburgh.

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

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.

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

An interlace-decorated fragment built into the west wall of the church by the door to the vestry, which may have formed part of a ninth-century cross slab, perhaps indicates that the site of the church at Lintrathen has Early Christian origins.(1) The medieval parish was annexed to the Augustinian priory of Inchmahome by no later than 1431.(2)

According to the Statistical Account the church as it existed in the 1790s was ‘an old disproportionate fabric, built at two periods’.(3) This raises the possibility that it was still at least partly of medieval date and that it may have been a two-cell structure.

It was rebuilt soon afterwards, in 1802,(4) to a rectangular plan measuring 16.85 by 8.15 metres. A laterally projecting north aisle was added and other modifications carried out in 1875.(5)

The south-facing principal front of the main block has four pointed-arched windows. There has also been a central window that rose to a lesser height than the others, above which is a badly eroded oval plaque encircled by a cable moulding which presumably once contained the date of construction. A vestry projects from the west wall, and there is a later bellcote on the west gable. The north aisle has a granite plaque on its west face with the date 1875.

Its location at the highest part of a steeply sloping churchyard suggests the church of 1802 is likely to be on the site of its predecessor, and the dimensions would be consistent with the possibility that it at least partly perpetuates its footprint. Apart from the interlace fragment, however, there appears to be no retained medieval fabric.

The church is no longer in use for worship, and is currently boarded up.

Notes

1. N.K. Atkinson, ‘Lintrathen’, Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, Edinburgh, 1990, p. 39.

2. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, p. 133.

3. Statistical Account of Scotland, 1791-9, vol. 13, p. 640.

4. New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1834-45, vol. 11, p. 640.

5. John Gifford, The Buildings of Scotland, Dundee and Angus, New Haven and London, 2012, pp. 384-85.

Map

Images

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  • 1. Lintrathen Church, exterior, from south east

  • 2. Lintrathen Church, exterior, Early Christian fragment in west wall

  • 3. Lintrathen Church, exterior, from north west

  • 4. Lintrathen Church, exterior, from west

  • 5. Lintrathen Church, exterior, north aisle, date stone

  • 6. Lintrathen Church, exterior, south face, eroded date stone

  • 7. Lintrathen churchyard, gravestone

  • 8. Lintrathen churchyard

  • 9. Lintrathen churchyard, monument