Kearn Church and Churchyard

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 51440 26630, map




Kearn Church dates to the medieval period, with reference to the church (spelt originally 'Keryn') in a tax document in 1275. The site today is situated within a small copse or shelter belt alongside a minor, rural road. There is open farmland around the church site and part of the large Forbes estate stretches off to the south.

Kearn was originally a separate parish but was joined with Auchindoir in 1722. Kearn Church was demolished in the early 19th century, although it is thought a small section of the north wall was retained to be used in the construction of a later burial enclosure to the Forbes family, which stands on the site of the church. There are no remains of the church today. The burial enclosure mentioned above is a small, roofless, rectangular structure. Its north wall is thicker than the others, suggesting that part of the church was kept and re-used in this wall. The graveyard of Kearn is small and sub-rectangular and it is thought its coped retaining walls were built using some of the rubble material from the demolition of the church. 


  • Church mentioned in a tax record (1275)
  • Church demolished (1810 to 1811)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 371
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NJ52NW 21
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 17659
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 2717C(S)-listed (the graveyard and burial enclosure)

Bibliographic References:

Epitaphs and inscriptions from burial grounds and old buildings in the north-east of Scotland with historical, biographical, genealogical and antiquarian notesA Jervise1875-9Vol. 2, p214-15
The Object Name Book of the Ordnance SurveyOrdnance Survey1860sBook 6, p89
Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the ReformationH Scott et al (eds.)1915-61Vol. 6, p120-1