Stracathro Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 61730 65750, map




There is a long ecclesiastical history at Stracathro. In 1296 King John Balliol publically submitted to Edward I of England in the church yard of Stracathro. His abdication led to Robert the Bruce claiming the throne of Scotland ten years later. The current church at Stracathro was built in 1799 on the site of the medieval church, which, by 1792, was described as ruinous. The church lies within a large graveyard, which has been extended to the north. Arable farm land surrounds the church and graveyard. The church is located close to the site of a Roman camp.

Description (exterior)

The current church building is a simple and small T-plan structure, with a north aisle and a porch on the west and east gables. The slate roof is in good condition and the walls of the church are made of coursed, tooled sandstone blocks of different sizes. The window and door surrounds, along with the quoins are in ashlar.


The south wall of the church has two large pointed arch windows with simple Y-tracery and thick mullions. The windows have small quarry panes. A centrally-placed downpipe from the guttering is a later replacement.


The west gable of the church has a small gabled porch with a round-arched door. There is a small lancet window in the wall of the porch. Above the porch is a larger lancet window with quarry panes. Mounted on top of the apex is a small open bellcote made from ashlar masonry. The bell hangs from a stone lintel. Attached to the porch is a single storey vestry. The east gable mirrors the west, except there is no vestry attached to the porch. The north elevation has a central aisle that gives the church its T-plan. The gabled aisle has the same pointed arch window found in the south elevation.

Description (interior)

The interior of the church is fairly plain and simple, typical of most Church of Scotland churches. Rows of undecorated wooden pews in the nave face the sanctuary at the east end. The pews in the north aisle are perpendicular to the ones in the nave. There is a central aisle that gives access to the pews and the sanctuary area. The raised sanctuary has simple, carved wooden panelling and a small reading desk, pulpit and font. The communion table is much more elaborate, however, consisting of ornate carved table tomb-style legs and a carved and round-edged table top. The west end of the church has a small gallery, supported on cast iron columns. The gallery has a simple, wooden front in the same wood used in the furniture and panelling. The floor of the church is covered in blue carpet and the walls are plastered and painted a cream colour. Simple wooden panelling covers the lower sections of the interior walls.



  • Church: Build/construction (1799)
  • Church: Repair (1849)
  • Church: Addition (1884)
    Feature: Narthex

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 7860
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: NO66NW 10:00
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 35937
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 19826C(S)-listed

Bibliographic References:

The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation ChurchesG Hay1957p246
Angus or Forfarshire: The Land and People, Descriptive and HistoricalA J Warden1880-5Vol. 5, p161
The Object Name Book of the Ordnance SurveyOrdnance SurveyBook 79, p20
The Statistical Account of Scotland1791-9Vol. 4, p213
RCAHMS: The archaeological sites and monuments of central Angus, 2 (medieval and later), Angus District, Tayside RegionRCAHMS1984p12
'Ancient churches on the Angus Northesk- with special reference to the old parish churches of Logie and Pert', in Transactions of the Scottish Ecclesiastical SocietyJ D Gilrith1937Vol 12, p56-8
The Parishes of Medieval ScotlandI B Cowan1957p189