Kincardine Church

Kincardine Church

Originally probably called Eaglais Thomhaldich and dedicated to one of St Columba’s missionaries, its simplicity, to some  extent, indicates its antiquity. The Kirk itself has undoubtedly been renovated on more than one occasion – particularly in the late 19th century but also, one might assume, after its burning down on a fateful day towards the end of the 15th century.

On this day Grants took revenge on their arch enemies/neighbours for the murder of their clan chief. Fleeing Comyns took refuge in the church as a place of sanctuary but a flaming arrow fired from outside set the roof on fire and with it those sheltering inside.

Proof, however, of the fact that church  is definitely pre Reformation lies in the Lepers Blink window set at an angle to the altar. Interestingly old maps indicate an old Lepers settlememt nearby. The other piece of evidence is the likely baptismal font lying outside the door to the church which is considered to be pre-reformation and mirrors one to be found in Duthil Kirk

The granite gravestone in the kirkyard is relatively new but is dedicated to Walter Stewart – the first Baron of Kincardine and and a grandson of Robert II of Scotland and one of the heroes of the great Battle of Harlaw fought in 1411.  This Stewart Barony remained in existence until the Battle of Culloden in 1745, It was another Stewart – John Roy Stewart, also born in Kincardine, who was one of the heroes of that battle and those under his command fought under the “Green Flag of Kincardine”. It is perfectly conceivable that he too worshipped in this Kirk.

Kincardine has been served in part by a “missionary minister” based in Abernethy or Duthil and in part by its own Minister living in the Manse which was sold in the 1950s as it was proving very difficult to find an incumbent. Its interior is relatively plain but the War Memorial on the left hand wall shows just how widely drawn its congregation was – bringing in worshippers from the then populous Tulloch, Kincardine and even Glenmore. It then served a population which lived in very different way to that of today.



St Columba’s, Boat of Garten

Some 20 years previously Boat of Garten had come into being as a village as a result of the building of the Railway Station which lay on the rail line between Blair Atholl and Forres and also of the accommodation necessary for those who would service that railway, As part of that growth a post office, a hotel  and a merchant’s shop were established. In the intervening period up to 1881 Church services were held variously in the local school and in the waiting room of the Station with the Minister from Duthil Old Kirk officiating – no mean task as he also had to cover the similar Railway village of Aviemore.

Duthil Kirk Session Minutes record a meeting, probably held in the Boat Hotel, attended by the Rev James Bain, Duthil Minister, the Missionary Minister, the Postmaster, the Stationmaster, the Hotel Keeper and representatives from Duthil. At the meeting it was agreed that an approach be made to Seafield Estates for a piece of land on which to build a church. This was duly done – then there was a lengthy gap , possibly due to lack of funds or because of a misunderstanding between the Church Committee and the Estate about what sort of church was intended. Thus it was not until 1901 that everything was agreed and building started, being finished and dedicated on the 9th Sept 1900 at a cost of £717.

Boat of Garten and Kincardine became a parish in its own right in January 1932 necessitating the purchase of a Manse. The Church itself was extended by the building of its Church Hall and Chancel in 1936.

In more recent years there have been a number of changes most notably the creation of a Linked Charge (subsequently United Charge) with Duthil Church (since 2017 known as Carrbridge Church) with the Minister resident in the Manse in Boat of Garten. Thereafter there came the creation of linkage of a similar nature with Abernethy (Nethybridge) Church.

In 2013 we welcomed our new Minister Rev Donald Walker, who has since retired. On the 30th October 2019 the new Minister for both parishes, the Rev Graham Atkinson, will be inducted.



Duthil Old Parish Church & Carrbridge Church

A Tale of 2 Churches – Duthil Old Parish Church (now disused) and Duthil/Carrbridge Church (situated within the village)

The first recorded church at Duthil, dedicated to St Peter, was built about 1400, probably on the site of an earlier building. The church has been rebuilt on several occasions. The New Statistical Account reports the pre-Reformation building was ‘taken down in 1826’ and a new, ‘excellent edifice’ built the same year. Plans held by the National Records of Scotland show the 19th century interior was focused on a raised pulpit on the long south wall. Three galleries, off both the east and west walls, and off the north wall, sloped down towards the pulpit, and the ground floor seating was also arranged facing the pulpit and to each side. At the same time the Seafield burial vault under the previous church was replaced by the self standing first Mausoleum.The church was again renovated just before World War I by the Glasgow architect Peter MacGregor Chalmers, when the intention was to provide space for an organ and choir. Old Duthil Church closed for services in 1967.

When the building was closed and sold, its pulpit and Communion table and chair were removed and re-installed in the former Carrbridge United Free Church, which is still (2017) used for worship by the current Church of Scotland congregation in Carrbridge. Additionally, a number of memorial plaques were removed from the walls and re-hung in the Vestry of the Carrbridge Church, where they remain to this day.

Outside the Church there is an interesting, possibly pre – Reformation, Baptismal  font similar to that found in Kincardine.

Carrbridge Church is the church in current usage for the Parish. Opened in August, 1909. In 1976 it underwent a transformation with the completion of an extensive renovation scheme costing £7,609.It included the remodelling of the chancel to house the pulpit, Communion table and chair, from the disused Old Parish Church at Duthil. The Communion table is in memory of the Rev Patrick Grant, minister of Duthil in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. From him were descended through his daughter, a number of distinguished people who are commemorated by Duthil memorial tablets. They include Field Marshall Sir Patrick Grant and General Sir Henry Fane Grant.








These tablets were “rescued” and placed in the Duthil Chapel – formed in what was the rear of Carr Bridge Church. The transept, was closed off to form a church hall. A feature of the renovation is the panelling at the back of the chancel, which is floodlit, and the cross which is lit from the rear. The Women’s Guild provided a red carpet in the chancel. Oil-fired central heating was installed, boosted by radiators from Old Duthil Church.

The renovated church was dedicated by the Rev Dr Horace Walker, Secretary of the Church of Scotland Home Board. The Congregation is very active in its outreach and focused on spreading the Gospel to all its constituents.