Former Free Church, Midmar

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 65900 07740, map


Address

Applegrove
Bankhead, Midmar
Aberdeenshire
AB51 7QD
Scotland

Introduction

This secluded former church lies at the end of a small lane which gives access to several small holdings in the area. There is open countryside to the south and a mixed woodland to the north. The former manse is now a private house, located a little distance to the south-west. 

The church was built as an Associate Burgher church (not to be confused with another Burgher church site which was located on the Skene to Alford road - see separate site) in the 1830s but became a Free Church at the Disruption of 1843. The church is empty and redundant today but externally complete. 


Description (exterior)

This former church is a small rectangular structure, aligned roughly east-west. It sits in small wooded grounds alongside the lane leading to the former manse. It was built with large, coursed, roughly-squared blocks of granite and has a slate roof. 

 

The south elevation has three equal-sized round-arched windows with original glazing and blue-painted timber mullions and transomes. The eastern window is partially blocked with stone and cement, but this may be an original, intentional feature or an early alteration, possibly to mask an internal gallery. There are traces of stenciling on the smooth cement copying the mullions and transomes on the other windows, which suggests it was originally painted to give the impression of glazing. 

 

The east gable of the church has a small rectangular window towards the gablehead, likely to light a gallery inside. On the apex of the gable stands an impressive, corbelled round-arched bellcote with a tall stone ball finial on top. The bell still hangs in the opening from a metal support. At ground level is a later porch with good quality, tooled granite blocks and a round-arched doorway. There are decorative skew stop stones and a small finial. There is also a small round-arched window in the north wall of the porch. 

 

At the west end of the church is a single-storey hall with large rectangular windows, slate roof and a chimney on the gable apex. It was built using very large, roughly-shaped granite blocks. The north wall of the church is featureless. 


Description (interior)

The church has been mostly empty and vacant since it was sold to a private owner in 2006. It had been maintained in the years before this but was not in use. It is not known what original furnishings have survived.


Events:

  • Church built (1832)
  • Church becomes Free Church of Scotland (1843)
  • Added to Buildings At Risk Register (1993)
  • Sold to private owners (2006)

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4115
Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland - Online databaseReference: 1097Has been on their register since 1993.
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 16298B-listed
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NJ60NE 13
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 112865

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes
Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie, an illustrated architectural guideIan Shepherd2006p154