Former Braemar Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 15300 91700, map


Castleton, Braemar
AB35 5YR

Also known as:

  • Invercauld Church


This former parish church was built on the outskirts of Braemar in 1832 and extended nearly 50 years later. The church sits in small garden grounds and is bounded by two roads. The church was originally Church of Scotland before becoming a United Free Church. It closed in the 1940s and was sold to Invercauld Estate for £100 in 1948. It has been a theatre and ski shop since but was converted into residential flats in 1997, called Highland Aisle Apartments. 

Description (exterior)

The church is a large structure built with coursed granite blocks and with a slate roof. It consists of a tall nave, off-centre north aisle and tower. New windows in the walls and roof were added as part of the conversion to flats. 


The north, principal elevation features the large, gabled north aisle and an attached, two-stage tower and spire. The aisle is actually the surviving part of the original 1832 church, built with brown-grey rubble granite blocks. The large extension of 1878, on an east-west axis, made the original church nave into a side aisle. It has large pointed-arch windows (later insertions) with simple Y-tracery and modern glass. There is a small round window in the gablehead. Attached is a tall two-stage square tower with a broached stone spire. The tower has a pointed-arch doorway with a doubleleaf door which has fine decorative metal hinges. The second stage of the tower has tall, narrow pointed-arch (lancet) openings, while the octagonal section above has clock faces on four faces. The belfry has louvered lancet openings with decorative gables above. The stone spire is topped by a small ball finial and weather vane. At the junction of the tower and the east end of the nave is a small stair projection, which links the tower to the nave.

The later east extension of the church is Victorian Gothic, with lancet windows, buttresses and large stone pinnacles. The east gable has a group of three large lancet windows with hoodmoulds and latticed glazing. There are corner buttresses with tall octagonal pinnacles. There is a stone ball finial on the apex. 


The south elevation consists of the 1870s east extension and the original nave, which became a south aisle. The later addition has lancet winows with lattice glazing, while the south gable of the original 1830s building has large pointed-arch windows that match those in the opposite north gable. There is a small stair tower projection with a gabled porch at the junction of the south aisle and east extension. 

Description (interior)

The interior of the former church has seen many changes since it closed for worship in the 1940s. Original furnishing has been stripped out, although the 1547 Mural of the Battle of Pinkie has been retained. In the 1990s the interior was converted into 7 flats, which included the insertion of a floor and roof windows. 

People / Organisations:

Alexander FraserArchitect of the church1832
Matthews and MackenzieArchitects of extension1878


  • Church built (1832)
  • Extension to east (1878)
  • Church sold (1948)
  • Building converted to flats (c1997)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 9659Catherine Mylles archive
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 6281C(S)-listed
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: RCAHMS NO19SE 21
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 136686

Bibliographic References:

Deeside and The Mearns: An Illustrated Architectural GuideJ Geddes2001p153