Moray HER - NJ56NW0002 - ST MARY'S CHURCH, CULLEN

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ56NW0002
NameST MARY'S CHURCH, CULLEN
NRHE Card No.NJ56NW5
NRHE Numlink 17965
HES SM No.
HES LB No. 2218
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Complete 2
Details Church and graveyard, still in use. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and has been in place since at least 1236 when it is first mentioned in records. Part of this earlier building is incorporated in the present structure, with a blocked Norman arch at the W end of the S wall and the 13th century choir and nave now the E and W aisles. The rectangular nave was built prior to 1536. The south aisle, built in 1536 by a local patron Elena Hay as a chapel to St Anne, was the first extension. The chapel includes a round-headed mural niche with a recumbent figure thought to be Elena Hay's son and a carved front to tomb with two panels depicting knights on horseback. There are also mural memorials to the Earl of Seafield (killed 1914), Mia, Countess of Seafield (widow) and Nina, Countess of Seafield (1906-1969). Various other mural memorials including granite plaque erected to the memory of Rev. John Guthrie, Minister of Cullen 1937-1986. In 1543, with endowment from Alexander Ogilvie and others, the chapel became a Collegiate church, the first in this part of Scotland. The chancel dates to the 16th century. The cruciform shape of the present building finally emerged with the addition of the north transept in 1798. The entrances to the church are in the centre of the west and north gables, and also in the south elevation of the chancel. There is a blocked round-headed entrance in the southwest and a forestair in the south wall of the west aisle. The church is rubble-built with sandstone and granite tooled and polished ashlar masonry used for the windows, door surrounds, tracery and corner stones (quoins). The various roofs of the church are all slated with Banffshire slate, and have granite ridge stones and skews. There is a pointed-headed window with intersecting tracery in the east gable and Y-traceried windows in the south wall of the chancel. A 4-light window is in the south gable of the south aisle from 1536. There are various other windows, mainly with lattice-pane glazing. There is an 18th century bird cage bellcote at the west gable apex, and various cross apices. In the interior of the Church there is a pulpit and communion table at the central crossing, and galleries in the west and north aisles with late 19th century stencilled detailing. A number of interesting features inside include a pre reformation sacrament house on the north wall of chancel and a timber Laird's loft, which was erected in 1602 to the Ogilvie family. The Laird's loft is a wide, narrow structure of two stories, inserted into the nave, and is reached by a staircase with silhouette balusters and supported by columns that are framed by re-used late 16th and early 17th century pew ends and panels from former pews (two panels dated 1590 and 1608 respectively). The Sacrament House, built in circa 1550, is surmounted by a carved panel with a pair of angels holding monstrance, and with Latin text from John vi, 54-6. Also on the north wall of the chancel are ornate richly carved Ogilvie tombs from circa 1554. A cusped ogee arch surmounts the wall tomb, with a recumbent knight and flanked by shafts enclosing the canopy, with decorative cresting and containing two roundels with carved figures. The front of the tomb is divided into eight cusped panels, each containing figures. On the north wall is a baroque monument to commemorate Alex, Ogilvie of Findlater in 1543, and a marble monument to James Ogilvie, fourth Earl of Findlater and Seafield, one of the architects of the Union of Parliament in 1707. The most recent mosaic is from 1960 by James Selbie, and is mounted in an alcove behind the pulpit. There is stained glass in the E window by Aitken of Aberdeen from 1933. There are rubble walls enclosing the church and graveyard that has and entrance at the east, which is flanked by a pair of tooled rubble gatepiers that are surmounted by ball finials (which came from an entrance to Cullen House), and with a pair of spearhead cast-iron carriage gates. The wall of the kirkyard has been suggested to possibly be the original wall of the Tolbooth. There are a number of early tombstones outside in a graveyard, including an incised graveslab of a knight dated to 1414, sited by the west doorway. There are also tomb stones dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th century, and a small Seafield burial enclosure. THe oldest dates stone in the kirkyard is of the Abercrombie family. The church was the centre of the old kirkton of Cullen (NJ56NW0004) until 1820-30, when the township was removed to the present 'new town' of Cullen. The manse, which has been close by, was rebuilt in Seafield Place in 1830. The church is also known as 'Cullen Old Church' and 'Old Kirk'. A 17th century cross (NJ56NW0176) once stood nearby, now within The Square at Cullen.
Last Update18/11/2019
Updated Bycpalmer
Compiler 
Date of Compilation 

Easting: 350730.650025661, Northing: 866353.586003081

Google Map for NJ56NW0002

National Grid Reference: NJ 5073 6635



Event Details


Excavations and Surveys


Artefact and Ecofact

Ecofact

Samples
Palynology
Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability
CHURCHES COLLEGIATEA100
CHURCHES CRUCIFORMB100
ARCHES NORMANC100
CHANCELS  D100
HOUSESSACRAMENT E100
LOFTSLAIRD F100
FORESTAIRS  G100
WINDOWS POINTEDH100
WINDOWS TRACERIEDI100
BELLCOTESBIRD-CAGE J100
PULPITS  K100
TABLESCOMMUNION L100
BALUSTERSSILHOUETTE M100
PANELS CARVEDN100
PANELSPEWDATEDO100
TOMBS ORNATEP100
TOMBSWALL Q100
ARCHESOGEECUSPEDR100
KNIGHTS RECUMBENTS100
CRESTS DECORATIVET100
NICHESMURAL U100
MEMORIALSMURAL V100
WINDOWSSTAINED-GLASS W100
MOSAICS  X100
CHURCHYARDS  Y100
SLABSGRAVEINCISEDZ100
GATEPIERS  AA100
FINIALSBALL AB100
GATESCAST-IRONCARRIAGEAC100
ENCLOSURESBURIAL AD100
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