St. Magridin's Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 25980 16340, map


Grange of Lindores
KY14 6HX

Also known as:

  • Abdie Old Kirk (present)
  • Abdie Old Church (present)
  • Our Lady of Abdie (1555)
    Dedicated to the Virgin Mary.


The roofless ruins of St. Magridin's church stand to the east of a farm lane on a small knoll, surrounded by a graveyard and boundary wall. The site is at the north west of Lindores Loch, where the loch has silted up and become boggy ground.    Its east end looks over a gentle slope towards wooded and agricultural land.    The church lies east-west and is a long, narrow medieval building. It was built in the 13th century and consecrated in 1242 by Bishop David de Bernham, and then received significant additions in the seventeenth century.   It  was abandoned in 1827  but restored in 1856.    It was eventually replaced by the church at Abdie (site 4674).    It is surrounded by a graveyard in which. in common with most medieval churchyards, the majority of memorials are to the south and east of the church.    A small building built into the boundary wall was a mort-house   which currently contains many carved stones, including 'Lindores Pictish Stone' which was moved to the churchyard in 1970.


Description (exterior)

The church is a long gabled building with a later, western bellcote, a south porch and northern transept. It is built of red sandstone rubble which is predominately random, with squared and dressed detailing, and quoins.    The east end of the church has a single projecting string course running between the buttresses and underlining three deeply splayed lancet windows, which are contemporary with the original structure.   Above the central lancet is a stone which dates the restoration of the church to 1856. The embellishment of the gable, with skews, triple gablet at each end and a wheel-headed cross at the finial, dates to this time.

The porch has two square-headed windows on the south and west sides with bars inserted into them. There is a similar window over the porch which must have been inserted after the roof of the porch had collapsed, as its position would have interfered with the gable.   To  the east of the south porch are three stepped buttresses which are probably medieval.   Between them are two blocked windows of which the western one is larger internally than externally and has a segmental head on the interior.   The other window is smaller and is barely visible on the interior.   To the east of the buttresses is a large door with a segmental head.   Thereafter the wall is supported by three buttresses probably dating from the  nineteenth century.   At the south east is an original, single deeply-splayed lancet window.    A priest's door is of particular interest as it appears to have undergone at least three separate phases of alteration.    On the exterior the original slim voussoirs are visible, forming a roughly circular entrance.    Below these is a slightly misshapen hoodmould over a dressed sandstone doorway.   The door itself is square and has been inserted into a segmental arch, visible only on the interior. There is a beam slot on the interior of the south elevation, towards the eastern end of the church. This may mark the position of an early rood screen.

Angle buttresses support the west elevation on both sides. At the gable head is a seventeenth century pyramid roofed bellcote. The north side of the gable has been reinforced with nineteenth century skews. Under the bellcote is a square opening with sandstone jambs which is out of alignment with the bellcote.    An internal, blocked window below this had a segmental head, probably dating to the later seventeenth century.

An external aisle extends from the north wall.   To the east of this are two lancet windows, between which is a buttress and below the eastern lancet is a string course which stops at the buttress to the west.   A partial projecting string course runs above the angle buttress on the eastern face  which  stops in line with nineteenth century skews above, suggesting that the entire eastern face of the church was restored in the nineteenth century, including its lancets and buttresses.

To the west of the chapel the northern elevation is supported by three buttresses, the most easterly of which is large and stepped. This may be part of the thirteenth century building.   A projecting string course runs from this into a later buttress to the west and beyond this is a square-headed window has been inserted in place of a round-headed opening with slim voussoirs.

The gable ended south porch has a large four centred arch entrance, dating the porch to the mid to late sixteenth century.   The church is entered through a square headed door which replaced an earlier entrance with a rounded head and thin voussoirs which was probably the original thirteenth century door into the church.  On either side of the doorway are stone benches.

In the northern transept the broad, flat arches of the windows and doors suggest that this aisle is a post-medieval addition.   Its east wall has a square-headed window, with bars inserted into it.   The west wall has a blocked, square-headed window and door, on either side of another door, which has a square head with an armorial stone resting on the lintel.   The arms have eroded, but they were probably those of Balfour of Denmylne.    Below the north crowstepped gable is a square-headed window which may date to the mid nineteenth century restoration.    On the inside the window and door arches appear segmental, and may date to the seventeenth century.    There are memorials on the north, east and west faces inside the aisle. A round arch leads into the church



Description (interior)

People / Organisations:

Bishop David de BernhamClergyman1242Consecrated the church.
Pre-reformation Church of ScotlandDenomination1242-1560
CuldeesDenominationB1242Original denomination of the church before it was given to Lindores Abbey in 1198.
Church of ScotlandDenomination1560-1827


  • Church: Consecration (1242)
  • Graveyard: Consecration (1242)
  • Church: Addition (1500 uncertified)
    Addition of a porch on the south west of the build.
  • Church: Addition (1600 to 1700)
    Stepped buttresses replaced with stone shores.
  • Church: Addition (1600 uncertified)
    Addition of the rectangular door into the church through the porch at the south west.
    Rectangular windows put in to light the church.
  • Church: Build/construction (1661)
    Feature: Aisle.
    People: Denmylne Aisle
  • Church: Addition (1697)
    Remains of an outside stair to the gallery reveal the addition of a loft. The bellcote was probably added around this time.
  • Morthouse: Build/construction (1800)
  • Church: Abandonment (1827)
    In favour of the present parish church. The roof, seats and windows were sold to the public. The bell was transferred to the new parish church.
  • Church: Addition (1856)
    Cross added to the east gable.
  • Church: Restoration (1856)
  • Porch: Build/construction (a1242)
  • Aisle: Build/construction (a1242)

Archive References:

Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 30019Lindores Stone
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 30063
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 104710Abdie, Old Parish Kirk, Kirkyard, Gate And Two Flanking Buildings
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 2583
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 2561
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 4311
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 870
Scran - Online databaseReference: 000-000-025-552-CImage Copyright: John R. Hume
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 4675Image Copyright: Edwina Proudfoot.
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 104710

Bibliographic References:

Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 57
The Medieval Parishes of ScotlandCowan, I.B.1967Periodical:
p. 23
Ruined Rural Fife ChurchesGlen, Duncan2002pp. 12-17
Scottish Medieval ChurchesFawcett, Richard2002p. 290