Kilconquhar Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 48540 02030, map


Main Street


This cruciform church was built between 1819 and 1821, adjacent to an earlier church (site  1232). It was designed by Richard Crichton and built by R and R Dickson. The church is situated on high ground in the centre of the village, overlooking Kilconquhar loch to the south.     The graveyard, which is still in use, surrounds the church.   The oldest stones are found around the old parish church to the east of the present church which it predates, and  there are some interesting eighteenth century memorials towards the south east corner.   

Description (exterior)

The church is built from coursed sandstone and consists of a central cell with north and south transepts and a west tower with a built-in porch. It is roofed in Scottish slate.    There is a flat roofed harled extension on the south east corner of the church which appears to be a vestry.

The east elevation is supported on both sides by diagonal buttresses. It has a large panel tracery window with a plain hoodmould and stained glass.   There is a cross on the apex of the gable. On either side of the main cell, the east faces of the north and south aisles are visible, but both are without features. . The south aisle is partially obscured by a harled vestry with a flat roof.

To the west of the south transept, the south elevation has two tall panel tracery windows under hoodmoulds, both of which have latticed glass.   Between the transept and the main cell is a rounded stairwell.    The transept itself has a panel tracery window similar to that on the east elevation of the main cell.   This window has a combination of latticed and frosted glass.   The head of one of the eight main lights has been broken and boarded up.   There is an inserted square of stained glass in the bottom of one of the lightas.   The face is topped by a cross.    To the east of the transept is a six light panel tracery window.   The four upper main lights and four tracery lights are of stained glass.

The west elevation of the main cell is supported by diagonal buttresses.   There are arched doorways on either side of the tower.   Between the main cell and the transept the rounded stairtower is visible.   The west elevations of the transepts are without features.

The north elevation of the church is a mirror of the south elevation, with the exception of the panel tracery window to the east of the transept, which has stained glass.

The three stage tower is supported by slim setback buttresses up to the second string with octagonal turrets forming a fretted parapet.   In the west face of the tower is the church porch.
The second stage of the west face has an arched two light window with cusped tracery. Above this is a similar opening with a clock face inserted into the head. Below the parapet are three louvered arches. The north and south faces of the tower are without features.    The arrangement of openings above the third string is mirrored on each face.

Description (interior)

Inside the entrance door at the west end a small vestibule gives access to the interior of the church by doors on the north and south sides, and to the gallery stairs.   The interior of the church is pewed and galleried on the north, south and west sides.   The roof is plastered and ribbed.   Recently alterations have been made to narrow the main worship area below the galleries, and create seprate meeting rooms on either side, and provide other amenities.   The raised chancel area to the east has a communion table, two benches. an octagonal font,  a lectern, and an elaborately carved pulpit.  There is an organ at the south east corner of the sanctuary.   At the east end, above the chancel,  is an eight light stained glass window displaying The Acts of Charity.   In the south wall of the chancel is a six light window with four panels depicting Old Testament Warriors and in the north wall a similar window shows images of sacrament and preaching.

There are several memorials to past ministers and church members, and a World War II memorial.   There are also wall hangings including one made to commemorate the Millennium of 2000.

People / Organisations:

Church of ScotlandDenomination1821-NOW
R&R DicksonArchitect1819-1821Built the church to Crichton's specifications.
Mr Richard CrichtonArchitect1819Designed the church.
Ward and HughesStained Glass Artist1867Added the stained glass in the east window.


  • Graveyard: Consecration (1500b)
    There has been a graveyard on this site for many hundreds of years. There are burials associated with site 1232 towards the back to the graveyard, but it is conceivable that the site is even older.
  • Tower: Build/construction (1819 to 1821)
  • Church: Build/construction (1820 to 1821)
    The church was built by R. and R. Dickson. Using Richard Crichton\'s design for Cockpen church.
  • Church: Addition (1867)
    The stained glass window was added to the east of the church.
  • Church: Addition (1898)
    The pews were widened and lowered.
  • Church: Addition (1918)
    Addition of the north stained glass window.
  • Church: Addition (1921)
    A new lectern was added.
  • Church: Addition (1925)
    Addition of the south stained glass window.
  • Church: Restoration (1969)
    Restoration of church.
  • Tower: Restoration (1969)
    Restoration work carried out.

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 8504Kilconquhar Parish Church
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 8504Kilconquhar Parish Church.
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 8504
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 100395
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 8506Kilconquhar Parish Church, Churchyard.
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 100395Kilconquhar Parish Church
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 100396
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 4699

Bibliographic References:

Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 259
Guide to the East Neuk of FifeFleming, D Hay1886Available as an ebook at See Chapter 13
1000 Churches to Visit in Scotland, Year 2006/2007 editionScotland\'s Churches Scheme2006Illustrations Copyright: John R Hume,2005.
Maps Copyright: Jim Lewis, 2005. Number 523.