Glenlivet Former Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NJ 21050 28670, map


Auchbreck, Glenlivet
AB37 9EJ


There is currently little information available about the former Parish Church of Glenlivet. It appears to have been built in the 1820s but was extensively altered in the 1870s. It was a chapel of ease - that is an additional church in a parish or community to serve an often sparse population to reduce the distances needed to travel to attend church. Like most such churches, there is no associated graveyard at Glenlivet Church. It was sold in around 2004 and has since been converted into a private house, maintaining its original external appearance. 

The church is located in a hilly, rural area, at a junction of two busy country roads and the Bridge of Auchbreck. It sits within a rectangular plot in which are mature garden grounds. Tehre are several large houses grouped close to the church, including the former manse. Several of these houses have been built in the 21st century. 

Description (exterior)

The church is a T-plan, Gothic building and was built with coursed rubble with dressed sandstone around the openings and at the corners (quoins). The roof is slated and has had a number of small roof windows inserted when converted to domestic use. 


The principal elevation of the church is the west face, which has a large central aisle. This central aisle has a west-facing gable, which has a small central doorway. It is pointed-arched and has a simple sandstone hoodmould above and the original wooden door. Flanking the doorway are small pointed-arch (lancet) windows at ground floor level. Above the doorway is a round window. It seems that all of the windows in the church have been replaced with modern, double-glazed units. On top of the gable is an impressive bellcote (or small tower), which is corbelled out on ashlar stonework. The structure is octagonal and has ashlar faces with small lancet openings. It has a stone slab clad roof or spire and may have had a metal finial (missing). On either side of the west aisle is a short section of nave. Each side has a large pointed-arch window, which reach the wallhead. 


The north elevation of the church has a gabled bay which is the north end of the nave. It has two lancet windows at ground floor level and a small round window above, in the gablehead. There is a small finial on the apex. The north side of the west aisle is attached to the nave, and has a large pointed-arch window and a small rectangular window alongside. There is a later roof window above the windows. 


The south elevation of the church has a pair of very tall, narrow pointed-arch windows in the nave gable, which, unusually in a church, reach right down to floor level. The side elevation of the west aisle has a single pointed-arch window and two small roof windows have been inserted directly above. 


The rear (east) elevation is the longest wall of the church. It has four large pointed-arch windows that meet the wallhead (and match those in the west elevation). Two small roof windows have been inserted towards the north end. 

Description (interior)

The interior of the church has been converted into a private house, so much of the original fittings have been removed and new rooms created in the interior space. However, photographs taken by RCAHMS (see references) before the church closed show that it had (possibly still has) fine stained glass in the windows, simple wooden pews and a raised chancel at the north end with a small communion table and font. 


  • Church built (1826)
  • Church alterations (1879)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 7941
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NJ22NW 208
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 224022

Bibliographic References:

The District of Moray: An Illustrated Architectural GuideCharles McKean1997p164