Marybank Church

01 October 2011

News Type:
Site of the Month

Marybank Church is located on the Balnagown Estate near Milton and Kildary. It is situated in a rough pasture field about 200m south-east of Marybank and is currently a ruinous structure that gets quite overgrown in the height of summer. The walls are laid out in a T shape plan and are composed of mortared rubble. Both the north and west gable ends are well preserved but elsewhere the structure is in a state of disrepair with the east gable end down to only several courses of stone. The east gable end is a likely site of the entrance to the building.

One of the most interesting features of this site are the two chamfered windows in the north gable end which indicate a 17th century origin for this phase of the structure. The gravestones in the surrounding graveyard are worth a closer look as several of the gravestones appear to be earlier – signifying an earlier, medieval origin for this site. There are several flat grave stones still visible with interesting inscriptions on them and also the remains of at least one small enclosure within the graveyard - possibly marking a specific family burial area.

Marybank Church was the original parish church for Logie Easter and was replaced around 1818 by another site nearby also known as Marybank Church. This site was dated 1767 and has been unused since the 1820’s. The second Marybank church is roofless, rectangular and stands in very dense undergrowth. Some small features of the architecture remain in the form of a tall flat-lintelled window in the west gable and a splayed window in the east gable. Unlike the original parish church there is no sign of any associated graveyard or burials so it is possible that the original graveyard at Marybnk remained in use after the church went out of use. This is substantiated by several of the dates on the gravestones at the original Marybank Church.

There have been two subsequent sites of parish church after the second Marybank Church went out of use, the current site is at Kilmuir Easter.

The movement of the parish church from site to site is the impact of changing parish boundaries and shifting population centres over time.

More information on the parish churches mentioned in this article can be found at the HER website.

Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH), The Goods Shed, The Old Station, Strathpeffer, Ross-Shire, Scotland IV14 9DH
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