History

History of Holy Trinity and St Adamnan’s Kilmaveonaig

For a list of clergy and a fuller account of the history of St Admanan’s click  download pdf file

7th century | 1559 | 1591 | 1689 | 1712 | 1715 | 1746 | 1756 | 1788 | 1792 | 1794 | 1844 | 1856 | 1856-70 | 1862 | 1866-70 | 1889 | 1898 | 1914-18 | 1939-45 | 2000 |

Both churches are essentially Victorian buildings. St Adamnan’s Kilmaveonaig, however is a very early foundation dating back at least to the 13th century.  Historians and scholars disagree whether it is dedicated to St Adamnan the 7th century Abbot of Iona, biographer of St Columba or St Beoghna, another 7th century saint who was Abbot of Bangor. Local sentiment naturally favours the Scot.  What is certain is that the church at Kilmaveonaig is an ancient place of Christain worship and  has witnessed the ebb and flow of Scottish Episcopalian fortunes:-

  • 7th century  St Adamnan  preached  Christianity in the area and was buried at Dull Click to see window in Kilmaveonaig
  • 1559 John Knox’s sermon against idolatry in St John’s Kirk Perth resulted in churches being damaged.

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  • 1591 Kilmaveonaig church rebuilt. Click to see inscribed stone in south wall
  • 1689 William and Mary came to the throne and episcopacy was disestablished. Kilmaveonaig church fell into disuse.
  • 1712 Queen Anne passed an Act of Toleration allowing nine people beside an Episcopalian minister’s family to attend a service.

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  • 1715 Jacobite proclamation read from Kilmaveonaig’s pulpit by the Rev’d Duncan Stewart.
  • 1746 Following the failure of the second Jacobite rising, Episcopalian churches were damaged by government troops and stricter rules reduced the number of people attending a service to four.

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  • 1756 Just after Christmas, the seventy year old  Rev’d Walter Stewart was sentenced to six months in the Perth Tolbooth Prison for holding divine service in his house. His six companions were fined the then enormous sum of  £5 each.
  • 1788 Bonnie Prince Charlie dies in exile.
  • 1792 Scottish bishops promise to pray for  George III and the  penal statutes were repealed allowing freedom of worship.

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  • 1794 Kilmaveonaig church rebuilt again. Click to view inscribed stone. The local lairds  at this time were Robertsons and St Adamnan’s  has  two hatchments, a coat of arms and ancient gravestones  of the family. Click to view  hatchment.
  • 1844 Queen Victoria stayed at Blair Castle on her second visit to Scotland. She attended the Kirk but her lady-in-waiting, Lady Charlotte Canning went to ‘the poor little Episcopal chapel. It had bare earth between the seats and only a board to stand and kneel upon….only twelve were there counting the clergyman’. The Queen’s personal physician, Sir James Clark praised the health giving properties of the local air and water and Pitlochry began to grow in popularity. The Rev’d Thomas Walker interrupted a stag drive, specially arranged for Prince Albert by walking up the road and frightening the animals away.  This infuriated his influential neighbour and perhaps contributed to his eventual sacking by the Bishop. Click to see water colour of Kilmaveonaig attributed to Lady Canning.

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  • 1856 The Rev’d J. Stuart Robson was asked by the Bishop to find premises for services in Pitlochry. He reported he had acquired the use of a carpenter’s shop which one of his parishioners remarked was ‘far from a bad omen as a beginning’.
  • 1856-70  A site reached by a muddy track in  Pitlochry  was acquired. Plans were drawn up by the young architect Charles Buckeridge and the church built in the Gothic style  much favoured by the Oxford Movement and the High Anglican revival. The richly decorated reredos was designed by the emininent architect,  Sir Ninian Comper. Click to see reredos.
  • 1862 The Highland Railway reached Pitlochry which continued to grow in popularity as a place for retirement and holidays. To avoid building a level crossing the main road was re-routed which gave Holy Trinity a much more prominent position.

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  • 1939-45 The Lees School from Cambridge spent the war years at the Atholl Palace and worshipped in Holy Trinity. Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt who invented radar and radically altered the outcome of the war is buried in Holy Trinity churchyard. Click to view his gravestone.
  • 2000 StAdamnan’s Kilmaveonaig was chosen by Pam Rhodes, presenter of Songs of Praise, as one of her thirty four favourite churches in Britain in her book ‘Living and Loved’.

For a list of clergy and a fuller account of the history of St Admanan’s click download pdf file

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