There has been a church at Kinneff since at least
1242, having been dedicated to St Arnold/Adamnan by Bishop David of St
Andrews. It was here that the Scottish Regalia were hidden between 1651
and 1660 after being smuggled out of Dunnottar Castle when it was
besieged by English troops.
During its long history the church building has
underwent many changes and alterations. By the year 1700 it was in a
ruinous state and was consequently rebuilt in 1738. Once again by the
1870's it was again in poor condition. The fine state of the building
today is due to extensive restoration work undertaken in the 1960's
under the auspices of the Kinneff Old Church Preservation Trust.
This is one of the very few churches that is open
every day to visitors. Inside is a wonderful exhibition which relates
the story of the Regalia and you can see for yourself the spot where the
valued symbols of Scotland were buried. In addition you can learn how
the building has changed and expanded over the years. You can also take
the opportunity to sample a typical Scottish pew, (very hard and
uncomfortable!) Take time to sign the visitors book and please leave a
monetary contribution to help preserve this gem. Your coins will make a
satisfying clunk as they drop deep into the wall slot!
The churchyard is in excellent order with well
maintained grounds. The stones are in good condition with little sign of
damage but are hard to decipher due to ample amounts of lichen - a sign
of the very clean air in the district! The burial grounds have been extended to one side with a new
cemetery being currently in use.
The grounds can be accessed from the coastal road
south of Stonehaven (A92). Just look out for the signs for Kinneff
Church. Once you leave the main highway the road narrows considerably
and care is needed on certain sections. Take your time and you'll be
fine. Parking is easy with a gravel car park close to the main
I would most definitely recommend this site to
you. It is a rare chance to visit one of the best preserved churches in
the NE. Who knows how long they will keep the church open during the
long summer days. My advice is visit this one as soon as you can.
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