St Monans Church dates from 1369 and is situated in an isolated position to the west of the village on the very edge of the sea. It is perched on a low rock, over a small valley with a burn. The original graveyard surrounds the church and a more modern cemetery stands further westwards on the upper slopes of the little hill. This contains the local war memorial.

It is often said that St Monans is the church nearest the sea in the whole of Scotland, and this may well be the case, being only around 20 m from the edge. The church, one of the finest remaining from the Middle Ages in Scotland, was built by King David II Bruce (1329–71), initially for a small house of Dominican friars. It later became the Church of Scotland parish church. Though the church may never have been finished (it has a choir and transepts, with a short spire over the crossing, but lacks a nave), it has many features of architectural interest, notably the fine stone vaulting in the choir and the plain but handsome sedilia. White-washed throughout internally, the church is particularly light and attractive among ancient Scottish churches.

The church was greatly restored in 1899 by the Glasgow architect, Peter MacGregor Chalmers. The church hall was added in 1913 to a design by Sir Robert Lorimer. Major restoration to the windows and masonry was completed in March 2007. The church is open to visitors daily from April to October.

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Founded: 1369
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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