St Andrew's Roman Catholic Church, Braemar

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 14840 91510, map


Auchendryne Square
AB35 5WS


St Andrew's Roman Catholic Church was built in 1839 in a fairly large area of ground, encorporating an attached presbytery (built in 1864) and garden. It is located west of the village centre and is reached by a long driveway. There is no burial ground.  The church was largely funded by Lady Carmarthern and Father Lovi oversaw the building process. He donated the bell and organ. The Catholic congregation originally met in a smaller chapel on Chapel Brae before this church was built. It is an early example of a Gothic Revival Catholic church. 

Description (exterior)

The church is built from roughly-squared, coursed rubble granite, which came from a quarry only 15 metres away, and has a grey slate roof. The south gable is the principle elevation of the church and is built in line with the driveway to the church and presbytery. There is a central, advanced tower of four stages. The lower stage has a tall pointed-arch doorway into the church (with a carved wooden figure of St Andrew) and is flanked by corner buttresses. There is a stringcourse above and a fairly large pointed-arch (lancet) window in the second stage of the tower. The third stage has a date panel and above this is the final stage bellcote. A lancet opening holds the bell and the bellcote is topped by a thick cross finial. The south gable has a tall, narrow blocked lancet window to either side of the tower and large, pinnacled corner buttresses. 


The side elevations are of five bays and each bay has a tall lancet window, divided by small buttresses. The rear (north) gable has a large 3-light window with stained glass and corner buttresses to match those on the south gable. The presbytery is linked to the church in the south-east corner by a small passageway with a single window. 

Description (interior)

Upon entering the churth there is a large vestibule area, separated from the nave by glass and wooden doors. There is a fine mosaic of St Andrew in the inner doorway and a small dispaly area with books and large wooden crucifix. The nave is small and narrow and has wooden pews (with carved fleur-de-lys pew ends) either side of a central aisle, which has a fine, tiled floor. The walls have a wooden dado and a large number of mounted painted panels depicting biblical scenes. The roof is vaulted and supported on wall-mounted corbels. Above the vestibule is a gallery, which overlooks the nave and chancel. It also houses the pipe organ, which was made by Willis'. 


The chancel has a number of carved wooden statues and panelling and is raised up from the nave by steps. Behind the altar is a large reredos with carved panels and painted images of biblical figures. There is a statue of Jesus and Mary on either side of the reredos. At the eastern side of the chancel is a small lectern or pulpit with detailed, incised carved panels.


The church has many detailed and colourful stained glass windows. The east window, above the altar, has a central image of Christ on the cross and flanking images of St Andrew and Mary. The nave has mostly Scottish saints and kings depicted in the stained glass. 

People / Organisations:

Father LoviOversaw the church's construction1839


  • Church built (1839)
  • Presbytery built alongside (1864)

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 6251B-listed
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NO19SW 29
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 148568
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 6740

Bibliographic References:

Deeside and The Mearns: An Illustrated Architectural GuideJ Geddes2001p156
Crathie and Braemar: History of a United ParishJ Stirton1925
History of the Parish of St AndrewM Hunter1989