Drummuir and Botriphnie Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 37540 44110, map




This simple parish church was built in the 1820s to replace a previous medieval church, the remains of which are still present in the graveyard. The church and accompanying graveyard are located in a rural setting close to Drummuir Castle and Botriphnie House. There is mature, mixed woodland around the site, part of the designed landscape of Drummuir Castle. 

Description (exterior)

The church has been little-altered since its construction in the early 19th century. It is a fairly simple building, aligned east-west and with a vestry at the east end. It was built with coursed rubble with ashlar window/door surrounds and corner stones (quoins). The roofs are slated and the nave roof has a large metal ventilator on the ridgeline. 


The south elevation is symmetrical and has a round-arched doorway at each end and two large round-arched windows in the centre. The doorways have wooden, rectangular double doors with a simple, traceried fanlight above. The two windows have timber tracery with small, rectangular, leaded glazing. Small sections of glazing is framed and form openings for ventilation. 


The west gable has a single rectangular window at gallery level with simple arched tracery and small, leaded panes. On the apex of the gable is a tall bellcote, built in ashlar masonry. It has a round-arched opening in which is hung an 18th century bell. The bellcote is said to have been saved from the older church on the site and re-used in the later building. The east gable has a matching gallery window as found in the west, and on the apex is a fairly large stone ball finial. Attached to the east gable is single-storey (possibly later) vestry and session room. It has a small round-arched doorway and a short round-arched window in the south frontage, designed to mirror those in the nave. The vestry has a chimney on the east gable. The vestry or session house was extended on the north side in the mid 1980s and has a flat roof and rectangular windows. 

Description (interior)

The interior of the church has remained little-altered since opening and retains the original five-sided galleries and large pulpit. The walls are plastered and painted and the wooden floor is carpeted in places. Above a cornice is a wooden, panelled ceiling, painted grey. 


The galleries extend around the north, east and west sides of the nave and are supported by fairly large iron columns. The wooden panelled gallery fronts remain and include original painted armorials of the Gordon-Duff family. The nave and galleries have plain wooden pews with numbered end panels, and they appear to be original. 


The main focus of the church is the pulpit and sanctuary. They are located centrally against the south wall with the tall pulpit accessed by a wooden stair on the east side. The pulpit is of wood and has simple panels and curved ends. Behind is a short, gabled backboard. In front of the pulpit is a wooden communion table with tooled pilasters and recessed panels. On the walls of the nave are various 19th and 20th century memorials to local family members. A fine carved wood memorial with a shield boss and family crest commemorates Lachlan Gordon Duff, who was killed in the First World War. There are also a number of old carved stones, likely found in the graveyard. Included is a fine sandstone datestone of 1607, possibly from the earlier church on the site. 

People / Organisations:

R B Pratt of ElginArchitect, carried out alterations1901


  • Church built (1820)
  • Additions and alterations (1901)
  • Vestry extended (1986)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 3893
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 4283B-listed
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NJ34SE 53
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 193439

Bibliographic References:

The Architecture of Scottish Post Reformation Churches 1560-1843G Hay1957p250
The New Statistical Account of Scotland1845Vol. XIII, p210
Churches of MorayA J Howat and M Seton1981p6