St Congan's Church, medieval, Turriff

Grid reference

NJ 722 498 (accurate position)

Six-figure easting & northing

372200 849800





Altitude (metres)




Nearby places

Turriff, parish (0 miles)

St Congan's Church, Episc., Turriff (0.18 miles)

Lady's Wood, Turriff (1.54 miles)

Maryfield Cottage, Turriff (1.62 miles)

St Peter's Well, Forglen (1.67 miles)

Object Classification



Is linear feature?



Though early forms of the actual name of the kirk are lacking, medieval references to the dedication are not: Reg. Episc. Aberdon, i. 30 (1272): 'confirmasse Deo et beate Marie et sancto Congano de Turrech' Aberdeen Calendar (PSAS 2, 269): ‘iij Idus Octobris (= 13 Oct) In Scocia Sancti Congani abbatis de quo ecclesia de Turreff’. Aberdeen Breviary, 13 Oct.: 'Sancti Congani abbatis qui apud Turref Aberdonensis dyocesis ueneratur.' One of the local fairs here was called 'Cowan Fair' in 1796 (OSA xvii, 396). It is referred to among others in 1512 in a charter in which James IV erected Turriff kirklands, glebe and toun into a burgh of barony, granting a weekly market on Saturdays, and annual fairs on the feast of St Peter in Chains, aka Lammas, and St Comgan (S. Congani) (RMS ii no. 3714). Ann Dean, St Margaret’s Huntly (privately published, 2008, 9): ‘In 1861 some workmen removed stones from a built up window in the south wall of the choir. A brightly coloured mural painting of St Ninian came to light with the Gothic lettering inscription ‘St Ninianus’. It was destroyed within a few days of its discovery. The carving of a group of ten heads, now in the east gable of the church would appear to be connected with the hospital founded by Alexander Comyn Earl of Buchan in 1273. Turriff had two annual fairs – St Congan’s on his feast-day, 13th October, and St Anne’s. Two other markets, St John’s and St Paul’s were established later. Temple Brae and Temple Feu indicate that the Knights Templars received revenues from land in the parish.’

Relationships with other parishes

Within Turriff, parish