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Glenbuchat Heritage

77 Glenbuchat Old Church
The Glenbuchat Image Library
77 Glenbuchat Old Church

Glenbucket Church taken May 2008

Glenbuchat Old Kirk was established in 1473 but is no longer in use except for an annual service.

From History of Logie-Coldstone and Braes of Cromar the full dramatic story its establishment can be found.

“An event now (1649 A.D.) occurred that very intimately concerned the parish of Logic. " Glenbucket was of old a chapelry of the Church of Logy in Mar. It was erected into a parish in the year 1473 A.D. by Bishop Thomas Spens, with consent of the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral and of Sir Edward Makdowel, Vicar of Logy.
The deed of erection recites the perils of storms and floods which beset the inhabitants in passing and repassing between Glenbucket and Logie through an uninhabited tract of hill and waste, where in one day at Easter five or six people perished on their way to the Church of Logy. The Church of Glenbucket was to be served by a resident parochial chaplain, who was to have the church land of Chapeltone with the great tithe as well of Chapeltone as of the town of Balnaboth in Glenbueket and others, which belonged to Logy, but were leased by the Dean and Chapter of Aberdeen. He was also to have the altarages and other small emoluments, which also of old belonged to the Vicar of Logy; with twenty shillings Scots yearly from the Vicar of Logy in respect of his release from the cure of Glenbucket." This arrangement seems to have worked well till the year 1549, when the son of the chaplain, now dead, put in a claim for some of these lands as his personal property, to which the Vicar of Logy naturally objected. There was much disputing about it. In the first instance it wascarried to the Bishop's Court, and from that to King James V.'s new Court of Session, and it was not settled till 1686, when the lords of the congregation— The Reformation having in the
meantime taken place — relieved both parties of all trouble about either tithes or land.”

From Strathdon Vital Records the post of Kirk Officer in 1860 is recorded

Anderson, Barbara wife of Charles Anderson (married)
1860 July thirteenth 6h 45m PM Tornacoil, Strathdon
F: 81 years
parents: John Callum, farmer (deceased) & Ann Callum ms Moir (deceased)
cause: old age, not certified
buried: Churchyard of Glenbucket, as certified by John Kellas, Kirk Officer
informant: Charles Anderson his X mark. A.G. Anderson, registrar, witness
1860 July 18th at Strathdon. A.G. Anderson, registrar

And from the Beatties of Glenbuchat site is the record of the Deochry rhyme:
Elder Begg and Bellman Beattie
Scott Stewart and skirlin Eppie
Beardie fierce and Robbin strong
And that completes the Deochry throng.

"Bellman Beattie" - A bellman was the man who rang the church bell calling the people to worship. Presumably this would have referred to John Beattie, Jr.
John Beattie Deochry Born - 1792/3 Strathdon [per 1851 census].
"1836 - Beattie - John Beattie Dochry had a child born 7th August, baptized, & named John (Jnr) before witnesses"

The Church is supported by the Society Of the Friends of The Old kirk of Glenbuchat.
The following is taken from the above site and any support would be welcome. You may contact them at the above site

The Friends were formed on 26th May 2001 with the aims of :
a:the care of the Old Kirk of Glenbuchat, its furnishings and war memorials and their preservation for posterity [where not the responsibility of Aberdeenshire Council],
b:the encouragement of research into the history of the church and the community and the publication of suitable literature
c:the collection of money for the foregoing.
Working in close co-operation with Aberdeenshire Council , and with the local Church of Scotland congregation, the Friends in the Summer of 2001 completed the restoration of the church by carrying out internal redecoration, re-covering of the pulpit and returning the Glenbuchat war memorials to the church.

In the period 1999-2000 Aberdeenshire Council had undertaken work on the roof and external harling along with extensive re-plastering of the interior.

The Story of the Old Kirk Of Glenbuchat
Glenbuchat as a parish dates from 1473 previous to which the Glen formed part of the huge mediaeval parish of Logie in Mar. At that time the parishioners had to cross the Don to worship at Logie Kirk and one Easter some were drowned in attempting to cross the river. In response the Bishop of Aberdeen erected Glenbuchat into a parish with the church being dedicated to St. Peter.

The oldest part of the building, the masonry on the lower parts of the walls is all that remains of the earlier church. It has twice been rebuilt, first in 1629 and then around 1792. It is this combination of styles and the lack of the subsequent major alteration that makes the church unique and typical of a Scottish Kirk of the 17th and 18th centuries.

It is the north side and some of the gables that remain from the 1629 rebuild with the south wall being mostly 18th century. At the apex of the west gable there is a stone bearing the date 1629 and the initials of Andrew Kerr the minister at that time. The two gable windows belong to the late 18th century while those on the south side are older and have been recycled from another building.

The two doors on the south side represent a traditional arrangement, the western door being for the general congregation and the eastern one mainly for the minister's use. Common with other Scottish churches there is no opening to the north,

The belfry is in Kildrummy stone and was originally on the west gable but was removed to the east end by Kildrummy mason, David Wood around 1857. The bell is dated 1643 and has the name of Dutch bell-founder Peter Jansen. At the southwest corner of the church is a ledge for a sundial.

The importance of the church is that it preserves internal arrangements of the 18thcenury. The walls are plastered, as is the coved ceiling. Between the pews the floor is cobbled and the alleys are laid in Correen stone. The pine pews are arranged on three sides of the pulpit which with its sounding board is mid-way in the south wall and is lit by two skylight panes in the roof.

In front of the pulpit is the precentor's desk with a double fork for the precentor to display the card announcing the tune. Most of these cards are still preserved in the church.

The pews on the north side and the manse pew east of the pulpit are of the box type. Those on the north side each contain small narrow tables and the partitions between these can be lifted out allowing for the tables to be set together for Holy Communion. Holy Communion was celebrated in Glenbuchat once per year around the end of August or the beginning of September. The annual service on the third Sunday in August keeps to this tradition to which all visitors are welcome!

At the east end is the Laird's loft which was erected in 1828 and displays heraldic arms of the Earl of Fife. This is the work of Ebenezer Ramsey and is of Mar Lodge pine wood.

From the Aberdeenshire Archaeology Reports
of the survey of the Church and Graveyard they state:

“Boundary wall and gate piers : The gates to the kirkyard are new and as yet have not been
painted. One of the gate piers leans out slightly and the boundary wall sports many minor
cracks. These minor points need to be inspected regularly.
The Old Kirk : The old kirk was built in1629, the W. gable contains a triangular
Date stone initialled with M.A.K. reputed to be the initials of Minister Andrew Kerr.
The E. gable is crowned by a large bellcote complete with an unusual large urn finial.
The S. façade is symmetrically arranged with two windows and two doors allowing the internal arrangement of the kirk to function, having a centrally-placed pulpit.
Although the kirk appears to be in excellent order externally, subject to extensive repairs
carried out in 1964, the interior of the kirk is deteriorating badly. The paint is peeling off the
walls and a large portion of plaster has fallen off the ceiling towards the W. end. Externally
there are a few loose slates on the roof and tree branches overhang the N. side of the kirk, could cause concern in later years.
The kirk, especially the gables, is beautifully proportioned, utilising the basic architectural
elements to great effect. The overall design of the kirk is of great importance as it illustrates the transition from medieval to prototypical 18th - century ecclesiastical architecture.
Tombstones : There are approximately 37 recumbent tombstones of which 10 are particularly
well-decorated. There are over one hundred upright memorials dating mostly dating
from the early 19th -century. The twin tablet Reid memorial, to the rear of the kirk, needs to be taken down and rebuilt otherwise it will fall over and the stones will break.
Conservation Digest : Urgent details.
The interior of the kirk requires to be inspected prior to an urgent programme of works being
instigated. It is said to contain several good memorials though the fine box-pews and pulpit
can be observed through the windows. The yard is well maintained though the recumbent stones would benefit from being lightly brushed.
There are several sections of the boundary wall that are cracked and will eventually need to be tied together or rebuilt.
Interpretative Potential : High.
The kirk is of a particularly beautiful and functional design which illustrates the transitional
ideals of the pre-18th - century kirk with that ofthe 18th - century form.
Access issues : The kirk and yard are located in the remote, though populated, area of
There is no provision for parking cars.
Date of visit : 29/07/98.”

From the RCHAHMS Site of their survey of the church

The parish church of Glenbuchat, date unknown, but probably built at the same time as the manse in 1775, is supposed to stand on the foundations of an older church. The dedication or date of the older structure is not known but a stone inscribed 1629 is built into the W gable of the present church.
Name Book 1868.

The first church in Glenbuchat was founded in 1473 and dedicated to St Peter. It was erected at Capeltone, almost certainly the present Kirkton. The present church, rebuilt in 1629 and again in the 18th century, probably stands on the site of the original church and may even incorporate parts of its fabric.
W D Simpson 1949.

The present 18th century church is harled and bears no trace of an earlier structure save for the date-stone built into the W gable.
Visited by OS (N K B) 30 August 1968.
See picture of unharled church

The parish church of Glenbuchat is situated on a moderate NE-facing slope at an altitude of 305m OD, and may occupy the site of the 15th century church of St Peter. The original church was founded 1473 at Capeltone, almost certainly the present Kirkton. The present church was rebuilt in 1629 and again in the 18th century, and may even incorporate parts of its fabric; it is dated 'M.A.K. (Minister Andrew Keir) 1629) at the apex of the W gable. Some of the stones within the rubble-walled enclosure date from 1686 but most are more recent; the church was in course of restoration by the county council in 1964.
NMRS, MS/712/43.

Parish Kirk, 17th century. Reposing in its own kirkton, this harled rectangle has an urn-crowned bellcote on the east gable and a panel inscribed M.A.K. [Minister Andrew Kerr] 1629 high on the west gable. Simple square-headed windows with clear lights suggest another plain Scots kirk, but the orthodox interior (pulpit with sounding board on south wall, box pews) is enlivened by an eastern gallery with square marbled centre column and the arms of the Duff family.
Pleasing clutter of stones from 1686 in the kirkyard, adjacent to the solid manse of c.1785 and later.
Taken from "Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie - An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press http://www.rias.org.uk Archaeological Notes

Picture added on 26 December 2010 at 19:36
This picture is in the following groups
I believe there is a family service/picnic on the 3rd Sunday in August, can anyone confirm this please?
Anonymous comment added on 04 May 2013
I enjoyed reading the ryhme, Scott Stewart is my grt grt grandfather
Added by Donna Cruickshank on 24 February 2017
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