Kinglassie Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 22770 98540, map


21 Church Lane

Also known as:

  • Kinglassie Kirk


The land on which the first church was built was confirmed to Dunfermline Abbey by Robert, Bishop of St Andrews (1126-1156).   Prior to the reformation the church of Kinglassie belonged to the Abbey of Dunfermline and it was dedicated to St Glastian.   The original church was possibly constructed in the twelfth century but has undergone several phases of alteration since then.    It was originally a narrow rectangular building which was altered after the Reformation, when the chancel was converted into a burial aisle by the Aytouns of Inchairdine.   The northern transept was also added at this time.   The present parish church dates back in part to the 15th century, but was largely rebuilt in 1773, when the building was reroofed, the south wall was rebuilt and new windows were added.   The building was again reroofed in 1887-8 and the walls were also heightened.   In 1890 the Inchairdine aisle was replaced by the slightly set back extension at the eastern end of the building.   The church is at the northern side of an old graveyard surrounded by a modern housing estate. The stones in the graveyard range in date from the mid 1600s to the early 1800s and there is a large monument of the Turnbull family at the western side.   The main entranceway to the churchyard is at the south east corner of the site and here the remains of a porch and offertory house are visible.    The former offertory house is now roofless.   It is beside the main entranceway to the churchyard, in the southeast corner of the site.   It was a lean-to structure with a square headed door in the southern wall and a small square window in the western wall.    On the interior of the building a fireplace and chimney are visible in the southeast corner.

 In 1979 Aucherderran was linked to Kinglassie, and this was converted to a formal union in 2013.  



The church is built of sandstone with a slate roof laid in diminishing courses.

The south face, which was rebuilt in 1773-4, can be described in two distinct sections;   the western end, which was rebuilt on the lines of the original church, and the slightly set back eastern end.    The eastern end of the building was constructed in 1890 and replaced the original chancel which had been converted into the Inchairnie aisle.   On the western section it is possible to see the change in stonework near the top of the face, which shows where the wall was heightened in 1887.   At either end of the elevation there are green painted two-leaf round headed timber doors, below tops of polished ashlar. There are five round headed windows in the face, three in the older western section and two in the newer eastern section. The windows  have coloured glass panes covered by sheets of Perspex.   On the roof there is a timber ventilator fleche with slate roof at the junction between the older and newer sections.

On the western elevation there is a small round headed window at ground floor level with a Perspex covering.   Above this there is a blocked square headed opening.    At the apex of the gable there is a corbelled birdcage bellcote which dates to 1773-4, and to the north of the gable and set back from it is the western elevation of the later northern transept.

On the northern elevation, as on the southern, it is possible to see the change between the older western section and the newer eastern section.   . Near the base of the eastern section, at the eastern end, there is a small blocked square headed opening.   At the western end of this section there is a round headed window covered with a metal grating.    At the eastern end of the earlier western section there is another round headed window which is similarly covered.    To the west of this is the advanced later addition northern transept.   On the northern face of the transept there is a circular stained glass window with segmental surrounds, above which there is a round louvered opening in the gablehead.    In the centre of the gable is a porch, with a Scottish slate roof and a door in the return to the east.    On the transept, on the return to the east, there is a large round headed window covered with a metal grating and a small louvered dormer on the slate roof of the transept.    On the return to the west, in the centre of the western face of the transept, is a large round headed window with polished stone surrounds which appear to have been recently inserted.    There are small holes in the window margins, indicating that there used to be a metal grating covering the window.   To the south of the window two old marriage lintels have been incorporated into the face of the transept, one of which has the initials �RA�, the other one being weathered.   Below these reused lintel stones there a date stone in the wall, 1671.   There is a small louvered dormer on the slate roof of the transept.

There are two narrow round headed windows at either side of the eastern face which have square coloured glass quarries and are covered in metal gratings and a number of headstones along the base of the wall.


People / Organisations:

Church of ScotlandDenomination1560-NOW
Pre-reformation Church of ScotlandDenomination11-1560


  • Graveyard: Consecration (1100 to 1300)
    Likely to have been in use since the founding of the original church.
  • Church: Build/construction (1200)
    The original rectangular plan church was possibly constructed in the twelfth century.
  • Church: Custodial Transfer (1226)
    Pope Honorius III granted the use of the church to the monks.
  • Church: Alteration/conversion (1560A)
    After the Reformation the eastern chancel was converted into the Inchairnie burial aisle and the northern transept was also added.
  • Session house: Build/construction (1700)
    Possibly constructed in the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century.
  • Church: Restoration (1773 to 1774)
    The original medieval church was partially rebuilt.
  • Church: Alteration/conversion (1839 to 1840)
  • Church: Alteration/conversion (1887 to 1888)
    The walls were heightened and the building reroofed. Work was also carried out on the interior.
  • Church: Installed (1888)
    The first church organ was installed, gifted by Alexander Mitchell, farmer of Redwells.
  • Church: Addition (1890)
    The Inchairnie aisle at the eastern end of the building was replaced by the slightly set-back extension.
  • Church: Addition (1891)
    The circular window in the transept was added in acknowldgement of the gifts from James Mitchell of Redwells. It contains his monogramed initials.
  • Church: Removal (1965)
    The original organ was removed and replaced by an electric organ.

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 13005
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 13004
Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Online databaseReference: M008389
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 2451

Bibliographic References:

Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 273
Kinglassie Parish Church 1773-1973: A Commemoration of Two Hundred YearsFinlayson Young, W.