Area :Kincardine and Mearns
Parish : Fetteresso
Kirkyard : Cowie Chapel, St. Mary's of the Storms.
N.G.R. : NO 884 874
S.A.M. : Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Listing Category : Kirk Cat. B.
Mort-house Cat. B.
Boundary wall and gate piers : The boundary walls, gates and piers are in excellent condition though there is some ivy along the N. wall.
The Old Kirk : The old kirk now stands as a consolidated ruin,
originally dedicated to St. Nechtan, or St. Nathlan, though was rededicated to St. Mary in 1276. It was never a parish kirk and was surpressed by the kirk session in the 1560s.The kirk was lengthened at the W. end during
renovations in the 15th - century, though the remainder of the kirk is said to be 13th – century in date. Restoration work was carried out in 1870 and it is probable that the lintel to the arched opening in the S. elevation dates
from that time. The E. and W. gables remain, the former composed of three lancet windows, very thin in proportion, broadly spaced and having carved sandstone head terminals. The gable wall is extremely deep with the windows
having a remarkably broad internal splay. The W. gable features a large square window opening. The mort-house or arched vault was built in 1842 though the W. end of the kirk extends over this arch making it impossible to see
how the vault was entered. The granite side and grassed roof of the vault appear to be in good order.
Tombstones : There are approximately 20 recumbent tombstones of which 4 are significantly well-decorated. There are many
hundreds of upright tombstones contained within the kirkyard that is itself located on two levels. The kirkyard is approximately oval in shape and is situated on the cliffs with commanding views over the North Sea.
Conservation Digest : Good Order.
The kirk, as a consolidated ruin, is in very good order though the walls must be sprayed to remove surface weeds.
The recumbent tombstones would benefit from being gently brushed.
Interpretative Potential: Medium.
The old kirk and yard are beautifully situated overlooking the North Sea, the kirk possessing a few good architectural details. Remains of the castle can be found along the cliffs to the
Access issues : The kirk is found at the end of a grass path on a level lower than the road to the golf club. There is adequate provision for parking cars at the golf club if the club were to allow it.
Date of visit : 06/08/98
Copyright The Archaeology Service for Aberdeenshire and Moray.