Kinellar Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 82150 14430, map


AB21 0SB


Kinellar Parish Church stands on a ridge overlooking Kintore and Bennachie to the north-west. It is surrounded by a small graveyard and the site is located at the junction of two minor roads in rural Aberdeenshire, across the road from a group of former farm workers cottages. The remains of a stone circle can be found a short distance to the south. The church has been out of use for some time and is now degenerating quickly. 

Description (exterior)

The church is rectangular on plan and aligned north-south. The walls are harled and the roof of the nave and attached porch and vestry are slated, and there are two metal ventilators on the ridge-line. 


The principle west elevation has two round-arched windows with multi-pane, clear glass. Towards the ends of the elevation are two unusual rectangular windows. It is possible there were former doors in the wall here that were blocked, but it is more likely they were purposely this size to light under the horse-shoe gallery inside. 


The north gable has a small rectangular window at first floor gallery level and on top of the gable is a simple open bellcote with a ball finial. Attached to the north is a small, gabled porch with chimney, with a boiler room below. Fuel was stored in an underground room beneath the porch, accessed by external stairs to the east. This store and boiler room has been heavily vandalised and is full of rubbish. 


The east elevation has an unusual domestic appearance, with two rectangular windows equal in size to those in the west elevation. These are now boarded up. In the roof are two dormer windows with multi-pane coloured glass. The dormers have timber frames and slated sides and roofs. 


The south end of the church has a single-storey vestry attached to the gable. The vestry has a chimney on the south gable and rectangular windows, again boarded up. There is a small, flat-roofed entrance porch at the junction of the vestry and gable. The south gable is featureless other than a small rectangular window at first floor gallery level. 

Description (interior)

The interior is still intact but suffering greatly. There is a U-shaped gallery supported on iron columns. The pulpit is against the west wall and the simple painted pews face it. Some original laird's box pews are said to survive but these were not seen. The walls are painted light blue and the ceiling a slightly darker blue. Roof beams are picked out in white paint. 


  • Church built (1801)
  • Alterations carried out (1977)
  • Church sold (2005)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 649
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 9115B-listed
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NJ81SW 5
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 19589

Bibliographic References:

Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie, an illustrated architectural guideIan Shepherd2006p167
The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation ChurchesG Hay1957p243
The Object Name Book of the Ordnance SurveyOrdnance Survey1864Book 49, p5
The New Statistical Account of Scotland1845Vol. XII, p118
The Third Statistical Account of Scotland: The County of AberdeenH Hamilton (ed)1967p175