Crichton Stuart Memorial Chapel, Falkland House

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 24710 07310, map


KY15 7AE


This small memorial chapel was begun in 1912 by renowned Scottish architect Reginald Fairlie in a Gothic style. It was intended to be used by the Crichton Stuart family who owned Falkland House but was left unfinished after the death of Lord Ninian Crichton Stuart in 1915. The chapel is located on a small rise within the grounds of Falkland House Estate, between the house and the western edge of Falkland village. Falkland House has been a school since 1984 and much of the grounds are open to the public. The chapel is used for a number of different purposes, including the hosting of weddings.

J Dowling 2017

Description (exterior)

The four-bay chapel is rectangular on plan and aligned east-west. It is built from fine ashlar sandstone and features buttresses and a crenallated parapet. Water spouts projecting from the walls show that the intention was to roof the chapel, likely with a flat, leaded roof.

The west face of the chapel was the principal elevation and has the only entranceway into the building. The round-arch doorway has a thick hoodmould above and chamfered margins. It is centred within a slightly advanced bay in the middle of the elevation. Slender buttresses flank the doorway and there are thick pinnacles at the outer edges of the facade. A shallow-arched window is situated above the doorway, framed by empty niches and there is a large date panel with the numbers '1916'. The east end of the chapel has no openings and is dominated by the tall central bay, which features a thick stringcourse and is flanked by substantial, stepped buttresses. There are angled buttresses at either end of the elevation. The crenallated north elevation features two 3-light rectangular windows with splayed margins, thick stone mullions and simple cusped tracery. There is a small rectangular window at the western end and an advanced bay at the eastern end. The south elevation of the chapel has an advanced gabled bay or aisle towards the eastern end, in which is a large pointed-arch window. Tall buttresses flank the window and the gable is crowstepped. There are two and three-light rectangular windows that match those on the northern elevation, and tall, pinnacled buttresses are located between the windows.

J Dowling 2017

Description (interior)

The interior of the church is rubble built and is divided into four bays, the most westerly of which appears to have been intended as a vestibule area. Substantial round and pointed-arched arcading divides the interior into a small nave with two side aisles. There are numerous memorials, including one to Lord Ninian Crichton Stuart, who was killed in action in 1915 during the First World War.

J Dowling 2017

People / Organisations:

Mr Reginald Francis Joseph FairlieArchitect1912-1916
Roman CatholicDenomination1916
Miss Jennifer McDonaldResearcher2007Assisted the Field Officer by researching and providing information on this site.
Lord Ninian Crichton StewartBurial1883-1915He died during World War I in 1915. The chapel is named in his honour.


  • Chapel: Build/construction (1912 to 1916)
    The building of the chapel was not completed.
  • Nave: Build/construction (1912 to 1916)
  • Aisle: Build/construction (1912 to 1916)
  • Aisle: Build/construction (1912 to 1916)
  • Transept: Build/construction (1912 to 1916)
  • Transept: Build/construction (1916 to now0)

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 31352
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 99521
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4698

Bibliographic References:

Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 225