St Peter’s Kirk and Parish Cross

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This is a small ruined church set in a walled graveyard to the east of the small planned village of Duffus and on the road leading to Gordonstoun School. We parked in the verge among the trees and walked down the grassy lane leading to the graveyard. We decided to use the metal gate rather than the stone step stile over the wall.

The church is a long low stone building which is now roofless, but still has the small bell cot at the west end.

There has been a church here since the 13thC when there had been a small settlement around the church. When Duffus house was built, a new planned town was built further away and tenants moved.

The church was rebuilt in the 1700s reusing much of the stone of the earlier building. It remained in use until a new church was built in the new village in 1869. At the west end is the remains of the 14thC tower. This has lancet windows and the remains of a crest. The south porch survives and was built around 1524. It has a vaulted ceiling and padlocked wooden door.

On the north and east walls are the external stairs which gave access to the galleries, now long gone although holes in the masonry indicate where their floor would have been.

Although the church is kept locked it is possible to see most of the inside with its stone slab floor and memorials either through the windows off the stairs.

There are some nice old graves in the churchyard and there is a large walled grave enclosure with old grave slabs on the ground and more on the walls.

The Parish Cross in the graveyard is distinctly underwhelming although it still stands in its original base.

The church is typical of small post-Reformation churches found in this part of Scotland. It is very quiet and well away from any noise. We were surrounded by bird song.

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