Kelimore / Kilmoir Parish Church

Kilmoir Church, possible site, Brechin Castle stables

Summary description

Nothing remains of the medieval church, thought to have been within Brechin Castle’s policies.

Historical outline

Early records of the parish and church of Kilmoir are entirely lacking and only the barest outline can be constructed of its history before the Reformation.  It probably first occurs in a surviving document in 1274 (as Kyrimur), when already described as a prebend of Brechin it was listed in Bagimond’s Roll with a taxation valuation of 9 shillings and 4 pence.(1)  It was certainly listed as a simple canonry and prebend of Brechin in Bishop Patrick Leuchars’s 1372 note of the constitution of the cathedral chapter, but Ian Cowan was wrong when he stated that it was held by the bishop’s vicar.(2

Both the parsonage and vicarage were annexed to the prebend, the cure being served by a curate only.  At the Reformation, the whole parsonage was set to Lord Erskine and the Laird of Auldbar, who together paid fees of £40 13 shillings and 4 pence, from which £10 annually was deducted as the fee for the canon’s staller and curate.(3)

Notes

1. SHS Misc, vi, 52.

2. Registrum Episcopatus Brechinensis, i, no.15; Cowan, Parishes, 106; this interpretation is founded on a misreading of the text of the constitution which lists six simple prebends (vicar, pensioner, subdeacon, Kilmoir, Buttergill and Guthrie), which Cowan understood to mean that the three officials listed held the three named prebends in order.

3. Kirk (ed), Book of Assumptions of Thirds of Benefices, 378-9.  

Summary of relevant documentation

Medieval

Synopsis of Cowan’s Parishes: A prebend of Brechin in 1274, by 1372 it was certainly held by the bishop’s vicar. The parsonage and vicarage were held by the cathedral, with the parish served by a curate.(1)

Mackinlay notes that the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.(2)

1432 Thomas Bell exchanges prebend of Kilmoir (value £8) with John Steil, who still holds church in 1439.(3)

1459 Ninian Spot vacates the prebend on promotion to bishopric of Galloway; Robert Forrester collated. 1460 Robert resigns and is replaced by Andrew Lyle.(4)

Post-medieval

Books of assumption of thirds of benefices and Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices: The Parish church is a prebend of Brechin Cathedral, £40 13 4d, curate paid £10.(5)

Account of Collectors of Thirds of Benefices (G. Donaldson): Third of parsonage £1 11s 1 1/3d.(6)

1587 Cookston described as one of three churches served by minister John Hepburn (along with Kilmoir and Buttergill).(7)

1587 (16 June) Tack by Mr. Andrew Leiche, parson of Kilmoir, with consent of the bishop and chapter of Brechin, to John, Earl of Mar, of the teinds of Hawche of Brechine.(8)

1613 (10 Oct) Tack by Alexander Bissat, parson of Kilmoir, with consent of the bishop and chapter of Brechin and John Lewingstoun of Donypace, as patron, to John, Earl of Mar, and Dame Marjorie Stewart, Countess thereof, of the teinds of Hauche of Brechin.(9)

[No apparent references to the church or parish in the Statistical Accounts]

Notes

1. Cowan, The parishes of medieval Scotland, 105.

2. Mackinlay, Scriptural Dedications, p. 102.

3. CSSR, iii, 244, CSSR, iv, no.520.

4. CSSR, v, nos. 725 & 795.

5. Kirk, The books of assumption of the thirds of benefices, 378.

6. Donaldson, Accounts of the collectors of thirds of benefices, 9.

7. Registrum Brechinensis, ii, no. 368.

8. NRS Papers of the Maule Family, Earls of Dalhousie, GD45/16/967.

9. NRS Papers of the Maule Family, Earls of Dalhousie,  GD45/16/982.

Bibliography

NRS Papers of the Maule Family, Earls of Dalhousie, GD45/16.

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.

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.

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

Mackinlay, J.M, 1910, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland. Scriptural Dedications, Edinburgh.

Registrum Episcopatus Brechinensis, 1856, ed. C. Innes (Bannatyne Club), Edinburgh, i.

Architectural description

Kilmoir is thought to have become a prebend of Brechin Cathedral by 1274, and by 1372 it was held by the bishop’s vicar, with the cure served by a curate.(1) The parish was united with that of Brechin by 1574 and the church subsequently abandoned. It has been suggested that its remains were cleared in order to form the gardens around Brechin Castle,(2) though it is also a possibility that it was on the site now occupied by the stable court of Brechin castle.(3)

Notes

1. Ian B. Cowan, The Parishes of Medieval Scotland (Scottish Record Society), 1967, pp. 105-6.

2. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, CANMORE on-line resource.

3. Scottish Urban Archaeological Trust Ltd, Historic Brechin, the Archaeological Implications of Development, a Scottish Burgh Survey Update, Historic Scotland, 1998, p. 23.

Map

Images

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  • 1. Kilmoir Church, possible site, Brechin Castle stables