St Rule's Parish Church, Monifieth

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 49530 32350, map


Church Street


St Rule's Church in Monifieth was constructed in 1813 by Samuel Bell on the site of a previous church, which dated to the mid 13th century. The church is located on a raised site on the fairly steeply-sloping Church Street and is surrounded by a large graveyard. The grounds of the church are enclosed by rubble walling and there is a gateway and steps at the main west entrance.

Description (exterior)

The church is rectangular on plan and has a large square tower at the west end and a small extension to the east. It was built in coursed, tooled yellow sandstone with ashlar corner stones (quoins) and dressings. The roof is slated and has two square, louvred ogival ventilators. Described as 'plain but conspicuous', it was originally intended to have a spire, but instead was left with a square bell tower. The church is classically proportioned but Gothic in detail.

The west gable of the church is the principal elevation and is dominated by its central projecting three-stage tower. At ground level is a pointed-arch doorway with a rectangular double-leaf door and a large fanlight above with trefoil and quatrefoil tracery. The doorway has a thick hoodmould, which helps to spread the weight of the tower around the doorway. High above the doorway is a pointed-arch window with thick, stone Y-tracery. The side faces (north and south) of the tower have blind pointed-arch windows, again with Y-tracery. The belfry (third) stage of the tower has pairs of louvred openings on all four faces, which are now partly obscured by later clock faces, added in 1914. The top of the tower has a plain parapet, which is slightly corbelled out. Flanking the tower, in the gable, are pointed-arch windows at ground and first floor levels. They have trefoil and quatrefoil tracery and thick hoodmoulds. 

The south elevation of the church has four very large pointed-arch windows, which all have very thick, stone Y-tracery. The windows at either end also have wooden trefoil and quatrefoil tracery, while the central windows have stained glass windows which are protected by clear perspex covers.
The north elevation is built in rubble sandstone and has pointed-arch windows of the same size and appearance as those found in the west gable. They are symmetrically placed in the elevation, with three at gallery level and two below. There is a lean-to boiler house at the east end, which is slated and harled. Above in the wallhead is a tall sandstone chimney. 
The east gable of the church is simple and has two pointed-arch windows (the same as at the west gable) and a later flat-roofed, harled, two-storey extension with rectangular windows. and a side doorway.
Encorporated into the gablehead are carved sections of the 1626 Durhams of Pitkerro burial aisle.

Description (interior)

The interior has thick, dark blue carpets and painted plastered walls. The interior is arranged around the pulpit and sanctuary which is positioned centrally along the south wall, flanked by the two stained glasas windows. The sanctuary is raised slightly from the nave and the panelled pulpit is reached by a wooden stair. In front is a wooden communion table, carved lectern and a font. Moveable chairs have been added to the sanctuary. The original wooden pews in the nave are still in place and face the sanctuary. 


The interior features a large semi-octagonal or horse-shoe gallery on cast-iron classical doric columns.  the two large stained glass windows are memorials to Thomas Erskine of Linlathen (1871) and Rev. Dr James Gerard Young (1902), both by Morris and Company. There is also a WW1 marble war memorial and WW2 stained glass memorials on the north wall. 

People / Organisations:

Samuel BellArchitect of the church1813
George Rattray, DundeeClockmaker1914
Alexander ThomsonMason, built the church1813
Morris & Co.Stained glass makers1902


  • Church: Build/construction (1813)
    People: Samuel Bell
  • Interior recast (1873)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 1407
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 37955B-listed
Dundee Reference Library - HardcopyReference: Dundee Courier, 10th December 1873
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NO43SE 137:00
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 186077

Bibliographic References:

The New Statistical Account of Scotland1845Vol. XI
The Parish of MonifiethJ Malcolm1910
Angus or Forfarshire: The Land and People, Descriptive and HistoricalA J Warden1884Vol. IV, p376