St Mary's Kirk at Auchindoir, between Rhynie and Lumsden, is one of the Scotland's finest surviving medieval parish churches. The main doorway is early Romanesque, and there is a well-preserved early 16th-century sacrament house.

St Mary's is rare for a Scottish church in that it has survived into the modern era without any major alterations. Although surviving medieval churches are reasonably common throughout the country, almost all were significantly altered during and after the Reformation, often so heavily transformed that it is difficult to see their medieval origins.

St Mary's Kirk was built in the early 13th century and served as the place of worship for the nearby motte and bailey castle, next to a gorge to the south-east of the church. First mentioned in 1236, the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In 1514 the church was elevated to a prebend of King's College in Aberdeen, thereby receiving the income of a canon. It was subsequently used as a parish church, surviving the Reformation largely intact. However, in the 17th century it was redecorated, with most of the lancet windows replaced with larger windows.

In 1810, the church ceased to be used as a place of worship and the old timber work was sold publicly.

The church has been described as one of Northern Scotland's finest specimens of 13th-century First-Pointed architecture. It had already lost its roof at the beginning of the 19th century but the walls of rubble and freestone quoins remain intact. The nave leads directly into the chancel without any structural division. Alterations were made in the first half of the 16th century and during the 17th century when doors and windows were added. The belfry on the west gable dates from 1664.



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Founded: 13th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Zeglar “Zeg” Fergus (7 months ago)
Of the two ruined Kirks along the Waters of Bogie, this is the more interesting. Set amongst trees and surrounding cemetery this is beautiful place to stop and reflect on the history of this location. Some off road parking is available, though the B9002 is not especially busy. If you are following the historic kirk tourist guides would recommend stopping at St Mary's.
David Pecheux (15 months ago)
Beautiful graveyard and church ruin. Limited parking space though!
christopher forrest (2 years ago)
Eugeniu Munteanu (3 years ago)
Very peaceful place.
robbinthebold (4 years ago)
This church is in a beautiful very quiet graveyard, I have been coming here since the 70s, it's still a quiet and very well kept place.
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