Leochel Cushnie Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 53000 10780, map


Leochel Cushnie
AB33 8LJ


Leochel-Cushnie Parish Church is located in rural Aberdeenshire, just to the north-east of the village of Leochel-Cushnie. It stands in a narrow graveyard with open arable farmland to the east and a woodland to the north and west. The church dates to the late 18th century and is built close to the remains of two earlier churches. 

Description (exterior)

The church is rectangular on plan with a projecting stair tower and bellcote and is aligned north-east to south-west. It was built in granite and is largely harled with tooled corner stones (quoins) and surrounds. The wide, double-pitched roof is slated. 


The south-west gable forms the principle elevation. There is a projecting, square stair tower or aisle with a single window and a round-arched doorway in the south-east elevation. The stair tower is built with large granite blocks and there is a string course running around, beneath the window. The south-west gable of the church has a tall, gabled bellcote and a tall pointed-arch (lancet) window on either side of the stair tower. In the gablehead are two small rectangular recesses, which may have originally vented the attic space. 


The south-east side elevation has a gabled bay at the south end with a tall round-arched window within. There are also three smaller round-arched windows. All of the glass in the church is composed of small latticed panes, some of it coloured. The north-east gable has a single round window with tracery. The north-west side elevation has a gabled bay with window (matching that in the south-east) and a smaller round-arched window alongside. Towards the north is a small gabled vestry with rectangular windows and door. A chimney in the wallhead may have served the vestry and the boiler room below.

Description (interior)

The interior of Leochel-Cushnie Church is spacious and well-lit. The sanctuary area, comprising pulpit and communion table, is placed centrally at the north-east end. The pulpit is reached by a small stairway and has a rectangular platform on which the minister stands. There is wooden panelling behind, attached to the gable wall. Below and in front is the simple, panelled communion table with Elders' chairs. A small wooden font stands alongside. 


The nave has original wooden pews, divided by two aisles or passages. There is a gallery at the south-west end, which has a trefoil-pannelled front. The area below is curtained off from the nave and seldom used during services. 

People / Organisations:

A. Marshall MackenzieBuilt the bellcote1879


  • Church built (1797 to 1798)
  • Bellcote added (1879)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 3865
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NJ51SW 76
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 108249

Bibliographic References:

Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie, an illustrated architectural guideIan Shepherd2006p88
Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the ReformationH Scott et al (eds.)1915-61Vol. 6, p134-6