St Michael’s Church

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Michael had bad vibes about this but breathed a visible sigh of relief when he saw it signed off the B993 to the west of Inverurie. It isn’t signed at the next junction, so go straight on. The church is set in a walled graveyard at the end of the road by a large farm.

In the graveyard are the ruins of a 16thC church with the north and west walls standing to almost their full height. The church was in use until 1771 when parish split between Kintore and Keithhall. Much of the church itself was demolished at the time to provide materials for the church at Keithhall. What was left has stood as a ruin ever since.

The main reason to visit is to see the remains of the sacrament house built into the north wall. These had been common in medieval churches but most were destroyed in the Reformation. This is one of the few in Scotland to have survived.

It is made up of five panels forming a cross. The host was kept in the centre niche. Each arm of the cross has scrollwork, bearing an inscription which translates as 'here is reserved the Body which was born of a Virgin'. It carries the initials AG, thought to refer to Canon Alexander Galloway, rector of the church for many years. Nearby is a replica brass panel, also with the initials AG and dated 1525 which has an image of the crucifixion.

Nearby is a tall grave slab of Gilbert de Greenlaw, who died at the Battle of Harlaw, a little to the north of Inverurie, on 24 July 1411. It shows the top part of a carving of knight. It has been cut off and the back was reused for a member of the Forbes family in 1592.

This is only worth visiting if in the vicinity. It is not worth making a special trip.

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