Old Pitsligo Church - Atlas Obscura

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Old Pitsligo Church

Rosehearty, Scotland

The south aisle of this church once served as a burial vault. 


This church was built around 1630 with an interesting mix of Renaissance and Gothic styling. The church is a simple design, set out on a T plan, with a south aisle accessed via an external stone stair. 

The walls of the original church still stand. The most striking feature of the church is the decorative belfry, or bell-cot, over the main entrance to the ruin. It’s thought to have been created by a Dutch craftsman in 1635. The belfry was restored in 2003.

The south aisle of the church served as a burial vault for the Forbes family of Pitsligo from 1636 to 1781.

In the surrounding graveyard, there are over 100 recumbent tombstones, a form of memorial known as a tablestone. These tombstones date to as early as 1643. The earlier tablestones are carved with symbols of mortality such as an hourglass or skull and crossed bones, while later tablestones are often carved with trade symbols indicating the occupation of the deceased

Know Before You Go

The ruin stands immediately south of the present kirk and burial ground.

Pitsligo Castle is nearby.

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September 30, 2022

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