Kilrenny Old Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 57500 04800, map


Kirk Wynd
KY10 3JJ

Also known as:

  • St Irnie (1933)
    An RCAHMS entry for 1933 states that local fishermen know the tower by this name.
  • St Ethernannus (1243)
    The church was possibly dedicated to this saint when it was consecrated in 1243.



Kilrenny old parish church was consecrated in 1243 and possibly dedicated to St. Ethernannus, although this is not certain. It was a larger building than the present church. By 1808 the church had become structurally unsound and was pulled down and replaced by the current parish church (site number: 1298). The fourteenth century tower was retained, as was the churchyard surrounding the church. The latter is described in association with site 1298.




The tower on the western face of the parish church is all that remains of the medieval church.    It is built from squared sandstone and has a plain corbelled parapet.    The tower is topped by a slated spire  which with a parapet were added in the sixteenth century. Each face has a pair of triangular headed openings. The north, south and west faces also have small square headed windows and there is a pair of square headed windows on the north elevation at ground level.

People / Organisations:

CuldeesDenominationB1100The church may have been the site of an early Culdee establishment.
Pre-reformation Church of ScotlandDenomination1243-1560There was a Catholic church on this site from at least 1243, although an earlier establishment is likely.
Church of ScotlandDenomination1560-1808A new church was built on the site in 1808, although the tower was retained.
Dryburgh AbbeyBenefactor11The monks of Dryburgh Abbey sponsored the building of the church.


  • Tower: Consecration (1243)
    The church was consecrated, possibily to St Ethernannus.
  • Tower: Addition (1500)
    A slated spire was added in the sixteenth century.
  • Tower: Addition (c1415)
    The tower was added in the early fifteenth century.
  • Tower: Destruction/demolition (C1807)
    The church was demolished, although the tower still remains standing.

Archive References:

Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 34136
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 35975 - Online databaseReference: Kilrenny
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 10559

Bibliographic References:

Historic Royal Burgh of Kilrenny & Anstruther - Churches, Manses & SchoolStevenson, S (Ed.)2001ISBN:0-9536538-1-1 p. 5
Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 263
Fife in History and LegendLamont-Brown, R.2002pp. 102-103.