Leslie Ex Parish Church & BG

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 59773 24646, map


AB52 6NT


Leslie Parish Church is located at the southern edge of the rural Aberdeenshire village of Leslie, on the south-east slope of Bin Hill. The rebuilt Leslie Castle stands a short distance to the north-east. Open farmland surrounds the village and church.

The current church here was built in 1815 but there have been other churches on this site. It wasdesigned by master masons William Littlejohn and Peter Nicol from Aberdeen and built by John Watt, mason from Huntly and Alexander Pittendrich, carpenter from Kirkhill of Kennethmont. The bellcote, with bell 1642  and made by Michael Burgerhuys, was from the previous church. It was re-ordered on 1897 by A Marshall Mackenzie. An early church here was granted to Lindores Abbey by Norman, son of Malcolm, between 1199-1207. The church is no longer in ecclesiastical use and was recently sold to a private buyer (2012). It is not clear what future use the church building will have. The building is presently empty (2021).

Description (exterior)

The church is rectangular on plan and is surrounded by a fairly large graveyard. It is aligned east-west and is a simple building. The church was built with large, coursed blocks of roughly-tooled granite. The roof is slated and has two metal vents on the ridge line.

The principle elevation, the west gable, is tall and fairly narrow. There is a central rectangular doorway, with a plain door and fanlight above. Flanking the door are two small rectangular windows with stained glass. Above, at gallery level, is a large rectangular window. Mounted on the apex is a large bellcote. It is ornate with moulded details, corbelled cornice and gableted finial. It is dated 1635 and has been re-used from an earlier church on the site. Attached to the gable is a simple, granite WW1 memorial. 


The south elevation is simple, with two large central windowss. They are rectangular with fairly large panes of glass. The eastern one has stained glass. The east gable has a blocked central doorway and there is a rectangular (almost square) window above with stained glass. A simple stone finial stands on the apex. The north wall is blank and featureless. 

Description (interior)

Most of the church interior fittings, including wooden pews, pulpit and west gallery have remained in place since the church closed, but it is now in private ownership and may well be changed significantly inside. 


  • Earlier church granted to Lindores Abbey (1199 to 1207)
  • Church built (1815)

Archive References:

Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Online databaseReference: http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/building_full.php?id=423359
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 00676
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: LB9237B-listed
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 17687

Bibliographic References:

Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie, an illustrated architectural guideIan Shepherd2006p101
The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation ChurchesG Hayp243
Epitaphs and inscriptions from burial grounds and old buildings in the north-east of Scotland with historical, biographical, genealogical and antiquarian notesA Jervise1875-9Vol. 2, p333
Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the ReformationH Scott et al (eds.)1915-61Vol. 6, p170-3
The Kirkyard of Leslie, AberdeenS M Spiers1998
Buildings of Scotland - Aberdeenshire: South and AberdeenJoseph Sharples, David W Walker & Matthew Woodworth2015Yale University Press