Glenesk Old Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 43110 80110, map




The ruins of Glenesk Old Parish Church stand in a roughly rectangular graveyard overlooking Loch Lee. The present church, measuring 20m by 6m, was built some time in the late 17th century, replacing an earlier building thought to have been burnt to the ground by the Marquis of Montrose in 1645. The early church was dedicated to St Drostan who is said to have established a church on this site in the 8th century.


The church was built with random granite rubble, but only the west, east and north walls survive to nearly their original height. The south wall has not survived, with only fragments visible. It was a small, single-storey structure with a low roof. According to Alexander Gold (see Bibliography) the church was thatched when he visited in the 1760s but was slated by the time the Old Statistical Account was published in 1793.


Presumably there were windows and at least one door in the south elevation, as only the east gable has a small rectangular window, with the north and west walls having none. The rubble walls have been consolidated with cement and mortar to preserve the ruins as much as possible. During his visit, Gold stated that the church bell was installed in a ten foot high wooden 'bell-house', which was attached to the manse.



  • Church destroyed (1745)
  • First church founded by St Drostan (8th century)
  • Church rebuilt (late 17th century)

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 11356C(S) listed
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: NO48SW 4Site survey report and manuscripts held in their archive.
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 1365

Bibliographic References:

The history and traditions of the land of the Lindsays in Angus and Mearns, with notices of Alyth and MeigleA Jervise1853p60-67
A geographical description of the parishes of Edzell, Lochlee, etcAlexander Gold1764
Old Statistical Account of Scotland1793Vol V, p365-6