St Vigeans Parish Church

St Vigeans Church, exterior, from south

Summary description

A much-modified aisled medieval church on an ancient site. Endowments made in 1485, 1506 and 1521 may relate to structural additions. Works are recorded in the 1680s, 1802 and 1822; a major restoration in 1871-72 involved significant additions, including an east apse.

Historical outline

Dedication: St Féichín(1)

The presence at St Vigeans of one of the largest and finest collections of Pictish sculpture in Scotland indicates that this was the site of a monastery of great importance from at least the late eighth century(2)  The monastery, however, had evidently failed by the twelfth century and when King William in 1178 granted the whole shire of Arbroath to his new abbey there the pre-existing religious establishment was simply a parish church.(3)  Possession was confirmed by Bishop Hugh of St Andrews (1178-88) and again by Bishop Roger de Beaumont (1198-1202).(4)  Between 1202 and 1204 Bishop William Malveisin confirmed the church to the abbey as part of a general confirmation of its lands and properties and in a separate charter he granted it to them in proprios usus, this annexation being confirmed by the prior and chapter of St Andrews.(5)  A rededication of the church was performed on 19 August 1242 by Bishop David de Bernham, who in 1249 also instituted a vicarage settlement which confirmed the annexation of the parsonage to the abbey, established a vicarage, and assigned to the vicar 24 merks annually and excused him from the burden of all episcopal dues.(6)  The settlement endured for over a century until in 1352 the then vicar joined with eight of his fellow vicars of churches appropriated to Arbroath to complain to the bishop of St Andrews of the inadequacy of their portions.(7)

The parish church remained annexed to the abbey at the Reformation.  Presentations to the vicarage pensionary of St Vigeans are recorded from the fifteenth century onwards.(8)  At the Reformation the vicarage pensionary was recorded as pertaining to Mr Robert Auchmutie and was valued at £23 6s 8d and 24 bolls of bere annually, with an additional £10 annually for the teinds of the lucrative fishing operations based on the abbey’s fishertouns within the parish.(9)

St Vigeans was a large and wealthy parish with several prominent families resident within it.  Their patronage of the church in the fifteenth century appears to have been responsible for substantial expansion of the building and the provision of additional altars within it.  Work appears to have been completed by August 1485 when George, bishop of Dromore in Ireland, issued a testimonial letter narrating that amongst other acts he had dedicated the church and its cemetery, and ‘two greater altars’ within the church.(10)  This rededication, he stated, had been undertaken at the instance of ‘the devout man’ John Brown, one of the parishioners.  Brown, described as ‘indweller at Letham’, subsequently endowed a chaplainry at the altar of St Sebastian within the church, fulfilling a vow made at the time of the rededication of the church in 1485, when he had assigned fiver merks of annual rents to it.  In 1506, he added a substantial endowment from various properties in the parish, receiving confirmation of his grant from the abbot of Arbroath dated 5 July 1506.(11)  The second altar mentioned in 1485 may have been dedicated to St Michael, it being at an altar of that dedication that two priest who seem to have been relatives of John Brown founded a chaplainry in 1521.  On 10 November that year a contract for the foundation of two chaplainries was made by John Brown, in fulfilment of an agreement with his late brother, David, vicar of Fetteresso, for the benefit of their souls and those of their heirs, parents, ancestors, and all the faithful departed. One of the chaplainries was in the parish church of St Andrews, where David was buried; the other was at St Michael’s altar in the parish church of Arbroath, ‘where lie the bones of the parents and progenitors of the said David and John’.(12)  Neither chaplaincy was recorded at the time of the Reformation.


1. J E Fraser, From Caledonia to Pictland: Scotland to 795 (Edinburgh, 2009), 336.

2. A Woolf, From Pictland to Alba 789-1070 (Edinburgh, 2007), 312; S Cruden, The Early Christian and Pictish Monuments of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1964); T O Clancy, ‘The Drosten Stone: a new reading’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 123 (1993), 345-353.

3. Regesta Regum Scottorum, ii, The Acts of William I, ed G W S Barrow (Edinburgh, 1971), no.197.  It was so designated again in 1213 when William confirmed his endowments to the abbey, ibid., no.513.

4. Liber S Thome de Aberbrothoc, i (Bannatyne Club, 1848), nos 145, 146 [hereafter Arbroath Liber, i].

5. Arbroath Liber, i, nos 150, 152, 165, 166.

6. A O Anderson (ed), Early Sources of Scottish History, ii (Edinburgh, 1922), 522 [Pontifical Offices of St Andrews]; Arbroath Liber, i, no.236.

7. Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland: Petitions to the Pope, ed W H Bliss (London, 1896), 235.

8. Calendar of Papal Letters to Scotland of Benedict XIII of Avignon 1394-1419, ed F McGurk (Scottish History Society, 1976), 352-3; Liber S Thome de Aberbrothoc, ii (Bannatyne Club, 1856), nos 126, 585 [hereafter Arbroath Liber, ii].

9. J Kirk (ed), The Books of Assumption of the Thirds of Benefices (Oxford, 1995), 395-6.

10. Arbroath Liber, ii, no.267.

11. Arbroath Liber, ii, no.458.

12. StAUL, Burgh Charters and Miscellaneous Writs, B65/23/223c.

Summary of relevant documentation


Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: The church of the vill of Arbroath was given to Arbroath by William I in 1178. Parsonage and vicarage annexed, cure was a vicar pensioner.(1)

1178 Church included in the foundation charter of Arbroath as a gift by William. 1213 church in included in confirmation by William I of the possessions of Arbroath.(2)

1198 Confirmation by Roger, bishop of St Andrews, of the possession of the church by Arbroath.(3)

1202x04 Possession of church by Arbroath confirmed  by William, bishop of St Andrews, in two charters, the first specifically related to the church, the second including all the churches held by Arbroath in the diocese of St Andrews.(4)

1204x11 Church included in confirmation by Henry, prior of St Andrews, of all the churches held by Arbroath in the diocese of St Andrews.(5)

1214x18 Church included in confirmation by Alexander II of all the lands and churches belonging to Arbroath. 1233 Alexander II grants the lands of Nigg to the abbey.(6)

c.1233 Church included in a confirmation by David de Bernham, bishop of St Andrews, all the churches held by Arbroath in the diocese of St Andrews.

1249 Vicarage settlement by the bishop, parsonage with abbey, vicar pensioner paid 24 marks and excused episcopal fees.(7)

1352 Suit brought before the bishop of St Andrews between abbey of Arbroath and the vicars of Inverlunan, St Vigean, Barry, Arbirlot, Monifieth, Muirhouse, Newtyle, Glamis and Kirriemuir. ‘The vicars asserted that they had insufficient portions, whereupon the bishop made an ordinance, which the Pope is asked to confirm’.(8)

1489 Richard Bennet presented to vicar pensionary (24 marks pa + one toft in Arbroath) on resignation of Robert Steile.

1521 Ander Fuller presented to vicar pensionary on resignation of Thomas Harrowar.(9)

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland  (William Duke, 1870-72): Reference to considerable building work in 1485 around the tower, re-dedication in the same year with the foundation of two new altars, St Sebastian (John Brown, tenant of the abbey, deed of endowment from 1506), no details for other altar. Earliest session records mention small repairs in 1665, 1687 new bell house, 1689 repair of church and steeple head, 1720 found in ruinous condition, 1754 vicar John Aitkin declares church ruinous during visitation, 1772 belfry repaired, 1827 roof of the old north aisle renewed and a new north aisle built at a cost of £134. 1872 church fully restored.(10) [see below for post-Reformation primary sources]

1521 (10 Nov) Contract for the foundation of two chaplainries by David Brown, (late vicar of Fetteresso) and his brother John Brown for the benefit of their souls and those of their heirs, parents, ancestors, and all the faithful departed, and for the welfare of the said John. David died before the contract could be fulfilled by his executors, one in the parish church of St Andrews in the aisle of the Blessed Bartholomew where the said David is buried, the other in the parish church of Arbroath [assume he means St Vigeans], where lie the bones of the parents and progenitors of the said David and John, at the altar of St Michael. They are to reside at the respective churches, but a month's absence or the taking of a concubine will disqualify them from continuing. In the event of the patrons failing to do their duty, the provost of St Andrews is ultimately responsible for the supply of chaplains.(11)

Altars and chaplaincies

St Sebastian

1506 Altar in the church dedicated to St Sebastian, founded by John Broun of Latham with rents worth 5 marks for the soul of his wife and family.(12)


Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church parsonage and vicarage with Arbroath, vicar pensioner paid £21 6s 8d.(13)

1611 (20 Sept) Visitation of the church records that Sir Peter Young of Easter Seatown, almoner to the King, has lately built an aisle, upon the north syde of the kirk, to serve for himself and successors for a burial place.(14)

1662 (1 April) Church along with rector and vicar teinds recorded as in the control of Patrick, earl of Panmure, inherited from his father, George (d.1661).(15)

1687 (17 Aug) Payment to the men building the bell house £13 7s 8d, paid for timber £3, for the smiths for ironwork £1 6s.(16)

1689 (14 Apr) Noted in the kirk session records that ‘it is thought the church be helped as to some part in pointing, the church and steeple head repair’ (the heritors to pay for it proportionally).(17)

1720 (3 Aug) Petition by Mr Watson, minister of the church, asking for a visitation by the presbytery of Arbroath. At the subsequent visitation on (18 Aug) it was found that the church was in ruinous condition and that it would take the sum of £474 16s to repair.(18)

1754 (16 May) Mr Aitkin, minister, petitions for a visitation of the church by the presbytery of Arbroath. Aitkin notes that the church was ruinous except for the walls which would soon be in a state of collapse if it was not soon repaired. At the subsequent visitation (30 May) the tradesman reported that £634 was required to repair the church (the heritors are to pay the money proportionally).(19)

Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev John Aitkin, 1793): [Long section on the patronage of the church].(20)

‘The plan of the abbey and church of St Vigeans, is said to have been drawn by the same architect, whose grave is shown to strangers in the kirk yard [of St Vigeans].(21)

New Statistical Account of Scotland (Rev John Muir, 1842): ‘The parish church is of the old Anglo-Saxon order of architecture, with nave and arches and side aisles. Besides being dedicated to St Vigean, St Sebastian also had a chapel in it… There is a square tower by way of spire at the end of the church, once, no doubt, a sanctuary for offenders. It had three stories’.(22)

‘The church of St Vigeans would appear to have been built long before [Arbroath Abbey 1178]’.(23)


1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 178.

2. RRS, ii, nos. 197 & 513, Liber Aberbrothoc, i, no. 1.

3. Liber Aberbrothoc, i, no.1476

4. Liber Aberbrothoc, i, nos. 150 & 165.

5. Liber Aberbrothoc, i, no. 166

6. Liber Aberbrothoc, i, nos. 100 & 101.

7. Liber Aberbrothoc, i, nos  172 & 236.

8. CPP, 235.

9. Liber Aberbrothoc, ii, no. 585.

10. Duke, St Vigeans, 481-91.

11. StAUL, Burgh Charters and Miscellaneous Writs, B65/23/223c.

12. Liber Aberbrothoc, ii, no. 458.

13. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 360.

14. Selections  from the minutes of the Synod of Fife, pp. 40-41, NRS Records of the Synod of Fife, 1610-1636, CH2/154/1, fols. 90-91.

15. Registrum de Panmure, p. 337.

16. NRS St Vigeans Kirk Session, 1665-1758, CH2/320/1, fol. 37.

17. NRS St Vigeans Kirk Session, 1665-1758, CH2/320/1, fol. 323.

18. NRS Presbytery of Arbroath, Minutes, 1712-1721, CH2/15/3, fols. 260, 261-264.

19. NRS Presbytery of Arbroath, Minutes, 1734-1773, CH2/15/5, fols. 237 & 240-242.

20. Statistical Account of Scotland, (1793), xii, 173

21. Ibid, 165.

22. New Statistical Account of Scotland, (1842), xi, 514.

23. Ibid, 515.


NRS Presbytery of Arbroath, Minutes, 1712-1721, CH2/15/3.

NRS Presbytery of Arbroath, Minutes, 1734-1773, CH2/15/5.

NRS Records of the Synod of Fife, 1610-1636, CH2/154/1.

StAUL, Burgh Charters and Miscellaneous Writs, B65/23/223c.

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

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

Duke, W., 1870, ‘St Vigeans’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, ix, 481-491.

Ecclesiastical Records. Selections  from the minutes of the Synod of Fife, 1611-87, 1837, ed. C. Baxter (Abbotsford Club), Edinburgh.

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

Liber S Thome de Aberbrothoc, 1848-56, ed. C. Innes and P. Chalmers, (Bannatyne Club) Edinburgh, i.

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

Regesta Regum Scottorum, Acts of William I (1165-1214), 1971, Edinburgh.

Registrum de Panmure, 1874, ed. J. Stuart, Edinburgh.

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

Architectural description

The survival of an outstandingly important collection of early stones at St Vigeans, many of which were found re-used as building material in the walls of the church in the course of its restoration in 1871, shows that there was an important early Christian community here, presumably housing one or more places of worship. The church passed to Arbroath Abbey on the foundation of the abbey in 1178, a situation confirmed by the abbey’s founder, William I, at a date between 1211 and 1214, and also by Bishop Roger of St Andrews (1189-1202).(1) Both the parsonage and vicarage were appropriated to the abbey, with the cure of souls being established as a vicarage pensionary in 1233.(2)

A dedication of the church was carried out by Bishop David de Bernham on 19 August 1242, though that is not necessarily related to any building activity.(3) A second dedication, on 25 August 1485 was carried out by Bishop George O’Brien of Dromore, presumably acting on behalf of the archbishop of St Andrews.(4) That dedication is likely to be of greater structural significance, since reference was made to two altars as well as to the cemetery.

One of those altars may have been that dedicated to St Sebastian, to which John Brown, a tenant of Arbroath Abbey, was granting rents in 1506.(5) Another altar, dedicated to St Michael, had chaplainries attached to in 1521 by David and John Brown, who may have been related the founder of the earlier altar.(6)

The earliest physical evidence for a church on the prominent mound at the heart of the village is a number of architectural fragments that have been found on the site. Caution must be exercised in using this evidence, since it is possible some of the architectural fragments found in the church walls in 1871 had been brought from the abandoned abbey after the Reformation to provide material for the periodic repairs and reconstruction that were required.

Nevertheless, the scale of a number of the fragments would be more appropriate for a parish church than for a major monastic foundation, while some of them clearly predate the foundation of the abbey and are thus more likely to come from the parish church. These include a moulded nook shaft base and a chevron-decorated voussoir now in the nearby museum, together with a second chevron-decorated voussoir that has been reused as a keystone on the late nineteenth-century tower stair doorway arch, and a cushion capital from a nook shaft that is still built into the south wall of the church. All of these appear likely to belong to one or more doorways or windows of around the second quarter of the twelfth century, and point to a Romanesque church of modestly ambitious scale.

In its final medieval state the church evidently consisted of a main body with a four-bay aisle running the full length of each flank, with no structural distinction between chancel and nave, and with an asymmetrically-set tower at the west end of the nave. As such, it was significantly more complex than a majority of Scottish rural parish churches. However, illustrations show that by the later nineteenth century the church had lost much of its external medieval character as a result of a succession of repairs and of adaptations to make it more suited for reformed worship.

The first known addition to the medieval building was a north aisle that in 1611 was said to have been recently added as a family burial place by Sir Peter Young of Easter Seatown.(7)  Works were in progress in the 1680s, with what appears to have been the construction of a belfry – presumably the bellcote that is known to have been on the east gable of the tower cap house - in 1687,(8) while in 1689 repointing was said to be required to the church and head of the tower.(9) By 1720 the church was described as ruinous, with works costed at £474.16s,(10) though it seems unlikely that those works were carried out, because in 1754 the minister insisted that the building was close to collapse, with repairs costed at £634 required.(11)

In 1802 the long walls of the aisles were evidently rebuilt.(12) Porches are said to have been built against the south aisle in 1822, while five years later the north aisle roof was renewed and an outer north aisle was built which had its floor elevated above a burial vault.(13) As part of this process it appears that the aisle walls had been reduced in width to gain extra space,(14) with few openings perpetuating those of medieval date. Internally the accounts point to the common slightly haphazard process of the insertion of lofts and seating focused on a pulpit set towards the middle of one of the flanks.

In 1871-2 a major restoration was carried out for the Rev’d William Duke by the architect Robert Rowand Anderson, in the course of which an attempt was made to give back to the church something of its medieval character, and with a communion table at the east end as the main focus of worship. At the same time a number of new features for which there was no medieval basis were added, including a five-sided eastern apse with a small polygonal vestibule at its south-western angle that also gave access to a vestry below the apse, an outer aisle that flanks the three eastern bays of the north aisle and that replaced the post-medieval predecessor referred to above, and a stair turret at the south-east angle of the western tower-porch.

In the course of that restoration a conscientious attempt was made to interpret the architectural and archaeological evidence of how the church had reached its final late medieval state.(15) The broad conclusions drawn at that time were:

  • The first building was on the site of the north aisle and the northern half of the central vessel, and was probably of the same length as the existing church. The east wall of the north aisle, together with an adjacent section of wall to its south that was dismantled when the apse was constructed, was deemed to be the main relic of that church, though it was remarked that this wall was built over earlier graves.
  • Second, the church was extended as far south as the line of the present south arcade, and an arcade was inserted in order to create a north aisle. While it was accepted that a consecration of the church by Bishop David de Bernham on 19 August 1242 was not necessarily directly related to this work, it was concluded that the new work must have been carried out shortly before then. It also seems to have been assumed that the nine consecration crosses that had been found, of which five were deemed to be in situ, dated from that consecration.
  • Third, the two lower storeys of a west tower were subsequently built at an unknown date.
  • Fourth, the second dedication of 25 August 1485 was concluded to have been associated with the addition of the south aisle, together with the heightening of the tower and the formation of a porch at its base. However, since the only elements referred to at the time were two altars and the cemetery there is no certain linkage with those parts.

This attempt to interpret the evidence was impressive for its time, though a number of factors must be taken into account in assessing the validity of all the conclusions. In the first place, since this was Robert Rowand Anderson’s first restoration project;(16) his relative inexperience, combined with the eagerness of an antiquarian client, might have led to some over-interpretation of the findings. In the second place, much of the evidence that was cited was either removed or obscured in the course of the work and is no longer accessible for assessment. In the third place, scholarly research into Scottish medieval church architecture was still at an early stage, with architectural details being assessed against what was known of English architecture, with consequent inappropriate dating of features.(17)

Thus, while the external masonry at the east end of the north aisle does indeed appear to be earlier than that to be found in the rest of the church, it would be dangerous to assess its date simply on its intrinsic characteristics. Its appearance of relative earliness may simply be because so much of the rest of the church was rebuilt in the course of post-Reformation repairs. In addition, it is difficult to assess its date in relation to the rest of the church, since so much was refaced or rebuilt by Anderson himself, though the stugged tooling of his masonry is usually recognisable.

It may also be that the suggested process by which the church was deemed to have been enlarged by the addition of a north aisle is inordinately complex: to build an arcade down the middle of an existing space, leaving the original north wall as the outer aisle wall while extending the main body southwards, is not what would now generally understood to be normal practise.

As a further point, while it is certainly possible that the ‘continuous foundation’ found below the south arcade was that of an earlier south wall, it could equally have been a sleeper wall provided as a support for the new arcade at the time of its construction, particularly since the site was known to be unstable as a result of the presence of earlier burials.

So far as the assessment of the date of the architectural details is concerned, it was an important element in Duke’s and Anderson’s proposed architectural chronology that the north arcade was of early thirteenth-century date. However, in Scotland such piers were being produced over a much longer period, and in 1897 MacGibbon and Ross suggested a date in the mid-fifteenth century for the piers,(18) a date which may be more tenable.

The piers are cylindrical, with caps that have a deep vertically faced abacus above a concave bell and a semi-circular necking. The bases have a simply chamfered profile.  Amongst the closest parallels for piers of this kind are those at St Andrews Holy Trinity in Fife, or Alyth in Angus, although at the latter the piers are octagonal. While Alyth is undated, the former was built at the time of a move to a site in the centre of the burgh in about 1410.(19)

A modified building sequence is tentatively suggested here.

The only accessible evidence for the first parish church is the architectural fragments built into the present church or displayed in the adjacent museum, which appear to belong to one or more enriched doorways or windows of around the second quarter of the twelfth century. At that date it is likely that the church of which they were a part would have had two distinct compartments for the chancel and the other for the nave.

We have no way of knowing exactly where such a church was located in relation to the present building, though the way that the tower was added to the south of the central axis may point to the possibility that the first church was also towards the south side of the area occupied by the central vessel of the present church. One further possible piece of evidence is to be seen in the west wall immediately adjacent to the north side of the tower: at the level of the second intake on the tower there are three courses of stone which appear to be set on a diagonal alignment as if they had once formed part of a gable.

If reliable, that evidence could point to there having been a nave that was of only slightly greater width than the tower and that rose to a lesser height than the present building. However, much of the masonry around this area was renewed by Anderson, and it is uncertain how much reliance can now be placed on the surviving alignment of stones.

The first likely addition to that church was the north aisle, with its arcade of cylindrical piers. Although Duke suggested that this arcade is of the earlier thirteenth century, a fifteenth-century date for the piers may be more acceptable. Nevertheless, the relationship of the arcade to the building as a whole is not entirely clear. It now extends the full length of the church apart from the nineteenth-century apse, and the way in which the ground falls away to the east makes it unlikely that the main body of the church could ever have been much longer. Since there is no acknowledgement of any distinction between chancel and nave in the adjacent main body of the church, it may be that the main body had already been remodelled as an extended rectangle, a plan that had become common for rural parish churches.

The arches carried by the north arcade piers are of segmental form, with two orders of chamfers. These arches are almost identical to those of the south arcade, and it is very likely that they were rebuilt to their present form at the same time that the south aisle was added rather than that they were built with the north arcade.

The south aisle was the last major medieval addition to the main body of the church. Unlike the north arcade, the arches are carried on octagonal piers, though the pier bases are again simply chamfered, while the caps have abaci of convex upper profile, a vertical face and a bottom chamfer; the neckings are no more than a chamfer. The arches of this arcade are essentially the same as those of the north arcade, and it appears likely that the two were constructed at the same time, perhaps in order to carry the added element of a clearstorey above the two arcade walls.

A sketch by MacGibbon and Ross indicates that there were eight clearstorey windows on the south side,(20) though Duke says that there were only three windows in the north clearstorey,(21) and the two sides of the clearstorey were restored by Anderson on that basis. Duke may have been correct in suggesting that it was the addition of the south aisle that led to the second dedication of 1485. While a principal justification for this was said to have been the foundation of the altar of St Sebastian, if the new aisle was the location of that altar it would have been natural to refer to the altar, as the liturgical focus, rather than the new structure.

In support of that date for the aisle, Duke pointed out that in the deed of endowment of 1506 it was said the church had been recently completed at the time of the dedication. If this phase of work did embrace the addition of clearstorey above the central vessel, it is likely the tower would also have been carried up to its final height at this time to ensure that it remained in proportion to the heightened building as a whole.


1. Liber S. Thome de Aberbrothoc, (ed. Cosmo Innes) (Bannatyne Club), Edinburgh, 1848-56, vol. 1, nos 1 and 146 and vol. 2, p. 534.

2. Liber S. Thome de Aberbrothoc, vol. 1, nos 100, 101; Ian B. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, (Scottish record Society, vol. 93), Edinburgh, 1967, pp. 178-9.

3. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris (MS Latin 1218); Alan Orr Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish history, Edinburgh, 1922, vol. 2, pp. 520-6.

4. Liber S. Thome de Aberbrothoc, vol. 2, pp. 226-7 and 366-8.

5. St Andrews University Library, Burgh Charters and Miscellaneous Writs, B65/23/223c.

6. Liber S. Thome de Aberbrothoc, vol. 2, no 458.

7. Ecclesiastical Records, Selections from the Minutes of the Synod of Fife, 1611-87, ed. C. Baxter (Abbotsford Club), 1837, pp. 40-41, National Records of Scotland, Records of the Synod of Fife, 1610-36, CH2/154/1, fols 91r-v.

8. National Records of Scotland, St Vigeans Kirk Session, 1665-1758, CH2/320/1, fol. 37.

9. National Records of Scotland, St Vigeans Kirk Session, 1665-1758, CH2/320/1, fol. 323.

10. National Records of Scotland, Prsbytery of Arbroath, Minutes, 1712-21, CH2/15.3, fols 260-64.

11. National Records of Scotland, Prsbytery of Arbroath, Minutes, 1734-73, CH2/15/5, fols 237 and 240-42.

12. John Gifford, The Buildings of Scotland, Dundee and Angus, New Haven and London, 2012, p. 665.

13. William Duke, ‘Notice of the fabric of St Vigeans Church…’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. 9, 1873, pp. 481-98, at pp. 490-4.

14. Duke, 1873, p. 487.

15. Duke, 1873.

16. Sam McKinstry, Rowand Anderson ‘The premier architect of Scotland’, Edinburgh, 1991, pp. 52-8.

17. Anderson was himself eventually to play an important part in the development of a more firmly based understanding of the chronology of Scottish architecture through his support of the National Art Survey of Scotland of 1921 and 1933. (Ian Gow, ‘Sir Rowand Anderson’s National Art Survey of Scotland’, Design and practice in British Architecture, studies in architectural history presented to Howard Colvin,  Architectural History, vol. 27, 1984, pp. 543-54).

18. David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross, The ecclesiastical architecture of Scotland, Edinburgh, vol. 3, 1897, pp. 459-62.

19. W.E.K. Rankin, The Parish Church of the Holy Trinity St Andrews, Edinburgh and London, 1955, pp. 22-4.

20. MacGibbon and Ross, 1897, p. 460.

21. Duke, 1873, p. 485.



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

  • 1. St Vigeans Church, exterior, from south

  • 2. St Vigeans Church, exterior, from east

  • 3. St Vigeans Church, exterior, from north west

  • 4. St Vigeans Church, exterior, tower, from south

  • 5. St Vigeans Church, exterior, west end of north aisle

  • 6. St Vigeans Church, exterior, east end of north aisle

  • 7. St Vigeans Church, exterior, re-used cap in south tower wall

  • 8. St Vigeans Church, exterior, south wall, possible re-used masonry

  • 9. St Vigeans Church, exterior, south wall, re-used masonry

  • 10. St Vigeans Church, interior, from west

  • 11. St Vigeans Church, interior, north arcade pier

  • 12. St Vigeans Church, interior, re-set voussoir over tower stair door

  • 13. St Vigeans Church, interior, south arcade pier