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- Category: A
- Date Added: 22/02/1972
- Local Authority: Moray
- Planning Authority: Moray
- Parish: Rathven
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NJ 41001 61454
- Coordinates: 341001, 861454
Dated 1788, probably Father John Reid; chancel, altar and
some internal alterations Peter Paul Pugin, 1896.
Rectangular church orientated E-W with wide 5-bay Baroque
W front incorporating flanking stair compartments. Harled,
tooled and polished ashlar margins and dressings. Centre wide round-headed entrance with similar flanking entrances in
slightly set back outer square stair bay; 4 substantial
round-headed windows, slightly smaller similar centre window
raised into shape pedimented gable; all windows and doors
with keystones and blocked imposts. Shaped pedimented gable
crowns centre 3 bays, deep eaves band, eaves cornice and
blocking course 3 sides of stair blocks; urn and ball
finials, apex cross. Datestone above centre door, multi-pane
Wide 3-bay S elevation with blocked round-headed centre door
and window above; flanking linear traceried windows (tracery
Demi-octagonal chancel with similar traceried N and S windows
linked to narrow round-headed lancets by continuous
hood-mould/string course. Slate roof.
INTERIOR: lofty interior; brilliantly coloured stencilled
chancel, nave dado and cornice. Ornate canopied, carved and
painted reredos with picture of St Gregory fronted by carved
varied coloured marble altar. Carved coloured marble
communion rails and flanking marble pedestals supporting
statues. Brass memorial plaques right and left in chancel;
coloured tiled floor.
1896 raised rear organ platform enclosed by curtained
railings; plain pews; Stations of the Cross; ribbed flat 1896
Entrance lobby with centre ceiling rose of 1788.
Statement of Special Interest
Ecclesiastical building in use as such.
St Gregory's church the first Roman Catholic place of worship
erected in Scotland after the Reformation which did not
attempt to disguise the fact that it was a church (Tynet RC
church, 1755 constructed so as to resemble a cottage).
Preshome church replaced a barn used as a chapel before 1788;
this barn was called the Craigs barn and the chapel was first
called Craigs chapel. Gordon of Letterfourie is said to have
contributed considerably to the erection of the church. The
area was staunchly Catholic.
Picture of St Gregory by Caracci gifted by Lord Findlater and incorporated in reredos.
Brass plaques erected each side of chancel mark burial sites
of Bishop James Kyle, 1788-1869 and his nephew, Rev. John
Plaque above centre entrance in W front inscribed 'DEO 1788'.
THE STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1792-3), Witherington and Grant ed.
1982), p.383. NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1842), p.265. Peter
Anson, 'Catholic Church Building in Scotland from the
Reformation until the Outbreak of the First World-War,
1560-1914', INNES REVIEW v (1954), pp. 126-7. George Hay,
THE ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTTISH POST-REFORMATION CHURCHES
1560-1843 (1957), pp.77, 154, 251. pl.20b.
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