Fearn Abbey has its origins in one of Scotland's oldest pre-Reformation church buildings. The original Fearn Abbey was established in either 1221 or 1227 by Premonstratensian canons from Whithorn Priory. Originally founded at 'Old Fearn' near Edderton, it was moved by 1238 to 'New Fearn' further east, perhaps to take advantage of better agricultural lands. The Abbey was rebuilt between 1338 and 1372 on the orders of William III, Earl of Ross. Following the Reformation the Abbey remained in use as a parish church, but disaster struck in 1742 when the flagstone roof collapsed during a service killing many members of the congregation. A new church was then built adjacent to the old ruined church, but it itself had fallen into a ruinous state by the early 1770s. Accordingly, part of the original ruined Abbey was rebuilt in 1772 and again became the parish church as part of the Established Church of Scotland.

The current building thus substantially dates from 1772, but incorporating parts of the medieval structure. It was restored by Ian G. Lindsay & Partners in 1971. Further restoration was carried out in 2002-2003 under the auspices of Historic Scotland.

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