St Drostan's Episcopal Church, Glenesk

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 49130 79770, map


Tarfside, Glenesk


St Drostan's Episcopal Church was built between 1878-9 by architects Matthews and Mackenzie of Aberdeen. The church consists of an aisleless nave and apsidal chancel with a southern porch. It was built with large, coursed granite blocks, which are roughly finished, and polished dressings and surrounds. The roofs of the nave, chancel and porch are slated.

Description (exterior)

The southern elevation has three pointed-arch windows running along the nave wall, made up of twin lancet openings with a round opening above. The gabled porch has small buttresses on either side of a pointed-arch doorway. The side walls have small pointed-arch windows. The gablehead has a stone cross finial. There is a buttress at the eastern end of the nave, where the chancel is attached.


The east end of the church features a large apsed chancel, slightly smaller in height and width than the nave. It has several pointed-arch windows (lancets) above a stringcourse. There are small buttresses below stringcourse height. The apex of the chancel roof has a small metal finial. The north elevation has no windows and is largely featureless.


The west gable of the church has three tall lancet windows symmetrically placed, with the central one larger than the others. Below the apex of the gable is an unusual slated bellcote, which is attached to the wall and supported by stone corbels.


Description (interior)

The simple interior has a small number of wooden pews, which face the chancel at the east end. There is a wide central passageway. The exposed wooden roof is supported by large stone corbels. There is a large granite chancel arch, from which hangs a large wooden cross.


The raised chancel has an ornate altar, with marble supporting columns, dog tooth decoration and recessed panels, some of which depict crosses. There is a large stone font with marble columns and decorated capitals. There is also a wooden reading desk with low chair. On the north wall of the chancel is a pointed-arch recess which contains the organ.



  • Church: Build/construction (1879)
    People: Matthews & Mackenzie

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 13748B-listed
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4565