Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NJ 68486 15248
368486, 815248


Late 12th/early 13th century, originally Augustinian Priory

Church, comprising aisle-less nave 52' 11" x 26" and chancel

52' 10" x 21' with W. tower 22' x 19' and about 60' high,

thin coursed granite with sandstone dressings; simple

round-arched W. door with hoodmould, plain round arch

from tower to nave, chancel arch with 3 shafts and cushion

capitals. Altered in post-Reformation times, particularly

1685/93, minister's door and other openings inserted in S.

wall mid 18th cent. with chamfer; reconstructed 1822, walls

lowered to 22' 6", re-roofed, S. flank remodelled to

standard pattern of 2 large windows flanked by 2 smaller

ones, (new work has granite dressings) piended N. aisle

added, 14' of tower taken down, 6' re-erected and

slated spire added. Altered July 1851, chancel largely

abandoned and unroofed as burial enclosure. Spire

demolished 1891 and bad crenellated parapet substituted.

Partial restoration. A. Marshall Mackenzie 1929, church

re-orientated to E., W. part of chancel restored and

chancel reopened, N. aisle closed off and converted to vestry

etc. Monuments: Forbes-Leslie of Abersnithick late 16th

century and large Grant series, Sir Archibald + 1820 by

Pistell, Commander Arthur + 1850, M.W. Johnston etc.;

clock Wm. Lunan 1792, clock face 1865; Mowat bell 1748;

part of jougs extant.

Statement of Special Interest

Place of worship in use as such.

The use of this site as a Christian place of worship predates the earliest surviving building phases (second quarter of the 12th century) . There were grants of land to Céli Dé (Servants of God – members of ascetic Christian monastic and eremitical communities) at Monymusk in 1130, probably to an established religious community. That same year a Papal Commission established that the Culdees would have a dormitory, a refectory and an oratory with burial right in the parish cemetery. A number of early Christian cross-incised stones from the burial ground further indicates that Monymusk was an early Christian centre. The Culdee community was transformed into an Augustinian priory dedicated to the Virgin by no later than 1245.

The church has a three-compartment plan, consisting of a rectangular chancel of uncertain initial length, a wider rectangular nave and a square west tower. This basic form was most likely established around the second quarter of the 12th century.

Listed building record updated 2017.



Cowan, I B. (1967) The parishes of medieval Scotland, Scot Rec Soc, vol. 93. Edinburgh. Page(s): 150-1.

Fawcett, R. (2002) Scottish medieval churches: architecture and furnishings. Stroud. Page(s): 72, 80, 93, 168, 206, 341, 366, 367.

Hay, G. (1957) The Architecture of Scottish Post Reformation Churches. Pages 22, 59.

MacGibbon, D. and Ross, T. (1896-7) The ecclesiastical architecture of Scotland from the earliest Christian times to the seventeenth century , 3v. Edinburgh. Page(s): 215-8 Vol.1.

MacPherson, W M. (1895) Materials for a history of the church and priory of Monymusk. Aberdeen.

Ritchie, J. (1911) Some old crosses and unlettered sepulchral monuments in Aberdeenshire , Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 45, 1910-11. Page(s): 347-9.

Sharples, J. Walker, D. and Woodworth, M. (2015). The Buildings of Scotland - Aberdeenshire: South and Aberdeen. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, pp.676-678.

Simpson, W D. (1925) The Augustinian priory and parish church of Monymusk, Aberdeenshire , Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol. 59, 1924-5. Page(s): 34-71.

Simpson, W D. (1943) The Province of Mar, being the Rhind Lectures, Aberdeen University Studies, 121. Aberdeen. Page(s): 109, 152.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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