Previously known as the Kirkton of Fotherdon the
site of Fordoun church is one of the earliest Christian foundations in
Scotland. St Palladius, the patron saint of this parish, is thought to
have preached here in the 5th century. The chapel founded here was
dedicated to him. It was recognised at the Mother Church of the Mearns
and as such must have have played an important role in the
ecclesiastical affairs of the county.
The ruin of the original chapel, known as St Palladius' aisle or Paldy kirk can still be seen
to one side of the burial ground. It was rebuilt in the 16th century and
again in 1788 before it was finally abandoned in 1828 when the roof
collapsed. It was the burial place of the Falconers of Glenfarquhar as well as the Irvines' and Burnetts' of Monboddo.
The present church building in the centre of the
site was built in 1828-29. It is a large building with many fine details
including a beautiful square tower entrance complete with clock.
This is a large site deep within the Mearns
countryside. Confusingly the graveyard is not located in the small
hamlet of Fordoun but rather to the NW on the outskirts of the larger village of Auchinblae.
However if you follow the signs from the main A94 you should find it
with little difficulty. Car parking is easy as there is a large gravel
area in front of the church.
This is an interesting churchyard which dominates
the surrounding lands. The grounds are well maintained, but in places
bushes and trees require trimming as they are beginning to envelop the
monuments. The stones themselves are in good condition, though many are
covered in lichen and mosses which makes reading some of them a bit of a
challenge. There seemed to be no sign of vandalism.
Also of note is the village of Auchinblae, a few
minutes walk from the church. Though there are many new and converted
buildings you can still see many fine examples of local architecture in
a typical Scottish village layout.
Overall an interesting graveyard with an
incredibly long history. There is much to see and many stones to view.
Read the historic notes at the entrance as they contain a great deal of
information which will add to your enjoyment. Very much recommended.
If you require a specific gravestone photo from the above send me your relevant details and
I'll e-mail you what I have. Contact me
Click on photos below to enlarge