Scheduled Monument

Urquhart,Old Parish ChurchSM5696

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Ecclesiastical: church, Secular: mausoleum
Local Authority
Planning Authority
Urquhart And Logie Wester
NH 58065 58492
258065, 858492


The monument consists of the former parish church of Urquhart which is dedicated to St Maelruba.

It is specified in the "Breviary of Aberdeen" that a wooden chapel was built at Urquhart on the spot where St Maelrubha was martyred in 721 and that this church was superseded by the parish church of Urquhart or Ferintosh. The present church, situated in an extended burial ground overlooks the neck of the Cromarty Firth to the N.

The ivy-choked gables of the building are still intact but the intervening walls have been altered by the insertion of a N burial aisle (c.1795) and later burial enclosures. The rectangular-plan, rubble-built structure measures 23.5m E-W by 7.7m N-S over walls 0.9m thick. The W gable is surmounted by a late 17th-century belfry.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular, extending 2m from the exterior walls of the church and measuring a maximum of 27.5m by 11.7m, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is a post-medieval church which, if medieval documentary sources and local traditions are taken into consideration, links the site of the parish church of Urquhart with the martyrdom of St Maelrubha and the erection of a wooden church on the spot in AD 721. The present building is likely to overlie the site of one or more earlier Medieval churches and as such it provides evidence and has the potential to produce further evidence through excavation, for ecclesiastical architecture, early Christian history, burial practices, parish development and material culture.



RCAHMS records the monument as NH55NE 1.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 28/09/2023 21:54