Towie, parish, alias Kilbathock

Grid reference

NJ 439 129 (accurate position)

Six-figure easting & northing

343900 812900





Nearby places

Kilbethock, eccles., Towie (0 miles)

Kinbattoch, settlement, Towie (0.92 miles)

Delavoran Haugh, Towie (1.12 miles)

Chapel of Sinnahard, Towie (1.87 miles)

Kilbacho, settlement Kildrummy (2.26 miles)

Object Classification

Parish (extant in 1975)

Is linear feature?



NGR for Towie parish kirk, on medieval site.

Parish details

Towie formerly Kinbattoch

Parish TLA




Medieval diocese


Parish notes

The parsonage pertained at the Reformation to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem at Torphichen; in 13th c. probably belonged to the Knights Templars. See Cowan 1967, 110. x 1211 Earl Gilchrist of Marr (dated PSAS lix, 41 1170 - 1211?) gave lands of Dolbethok and Fornathy [which I can't identify - 8.97] to Culdees without the permission of bishop of St. A's (presumably Bp. William), which lands the Culdees resign into the hands of Bp. William (St A. Lib. 371-2). This means that the lands of Dolbethok, no doubt at least part of the kirklands of Kinbattoch, were held by the bishops of St Andrews. Note that the grant of the churches and kirklands of Migvie (dedicated to St Finan) and Tarland (dedicated to St Moluog), which lie immediately south of Kinbattoch (Towie), to the priory of St Andrews by Morgrund earl of Mar and Agnes his countess 1153 x 1178 may have been an acknowledgment on the earl’s part of a much older claim by the church of St Andrews on these churches (St A. Lib. 246-8; 249-50). This points to an important cluster of lands in central Mar with close St Andrews connections. 1239 x 45 Bp. David of St A's confirms to prior and canons of Monymusk Dolbethoc (St A. Lib. 369; see also Reeves, Culdees, 140). In 1245 Pope Innocent IV confirms lands of Dolbethok, Loychel, Eglismeneyttok [=Abersnithock MMK ABD] to the priory of Monymusk; St A. Lib. 373. [Date from Barrow 1983, 12]. I assume that the lands of *Dolbethock were attached to the church of Kinbattoch, presumably haugh-land by the Don. Both appear to contain the same female personal name i.e. Bethoc/Beathag (discussed briefly by Watson as ‘the name of a saint who is not known otherwise’ (1926, 312). The name appears as a proprietorial affix in the Roxburghshire name Bedrule (earlier e.g. Rulebethok 1280 Glasgow Reg.), i.e. that part of Rule belonging to Bethoc, wife of Radulph, son of Dunegal of Nithsdale, fl. 1140 (see ibid., 134). Bethoc was also the name of the daughter of Mael Coluim II, mother of Dunnchad (Duncan) I. A.B.Coll. 611-2. A.B. Ill. ii - not included. A.B.Coll. 611: 3 chapels in the parish of 'Towie' (18c): Belnaboth, Drumallachy & Nether-Towie. Geog. Coll. i 27 (1724) mentions an old chapel at Kinbattoch and another at the Ley on the n. side of the Don, a mile east of Towie church. The NSA mentions ruins of chapels at Nether Towie, Kinbattoch, Belnaboth, Ley and Chapel of Sinnahard [prob. = Chapelton c.700 m. s.w. of Sinnahard] (vol.28, p.417, 1840, quoted A.B. Coll. 612 n.). Note that the chapel at Ley is probably the one called Drumallachy in A.B. Coll. 611. Ley would appear to be part of the lands of Drumallachie. Fasti 141 mentions all 5 of the above chapels viz Nether Towie, Kinbattoch, Ley, Balnaboth and Sinnahard. In 1891 a part of Migvie (MVX) which stretched along the Don east of the Deskry Water was transferred to Towie (TOW MVX). The subjects thus transferred from Tarland & Migvie to Towie are listed in full in Shennan 1892, 185. They are: Culquoich TOW MVX, Barns TOW MVX and Deskry TOW MVX. This is puzzling, since in Geog. Coll. i 27 (1720s) has as the two 'gentlemen's seats' of Towie the 'old castle of Towy' and Culphich (= Culquoich). TOW MVX - that part of Towie formerly Migvie - see below; see also LOC MVX and STD MVX. Medieval par. of Migvie was united with Tarland in early 17th c. (Fasti 113) to form the parish of Tarland & Migvie. According to A.B.Ill. ii 13 (quoting from Macfarlane's Geogr. Collections = Geog. Coll. i 24-5), the parish is bounded on the north by Strathdone & Towie, on the s. by Coldstane; on w. by Strathdone; on e. by Tarland. Gentlemen's seats are: Pronie (= Tillypronie LOC MVX); Ardgeith (STD MVX) on the Water of Deskrie, and Blackmiln (= Blackmill LOC MVX). Other places formerly in MVX, now in STD MVX, can be deduced from Shennan 1892, 183-4, from those places transferred from Tarland & Migvie to Strathdon in 1891. Apart from Ardgeith, already mentioned, these were: Candacraig STD MVX; Edinglassie STD MVX, Inverernan STD MVX, Bogforlea, Broomhill, Clashnettie, Rinnagailoch, Rippachie, Old Semeil, Skellater etc. - see Shennan 183-4 for more details. This means that MVX once stretched over to Strathdon, and up Glen Ernan (to n. of Don). In 1891, most of Migvie was transferred to LOC, with some to STD, after which Tarland & Migvie became known simply as Tarland. Those parts of MVX transferred from Tarland & Migvie to Logie-Coldstone in 1891 are listed in Shennan, 1892 182-3. They are: Pittentaggart LOC MVX; Coynach LOC MVX; Coldhome LOC MVX; Smiddyhill LOC MVX; Hopewell LOC MVX; Tillyponie LOC MVX etc. In 1891 part of Strathdon (STD) was transferred to Towie (TOW STD). The subjects are listed in Shennan 1892, 184-5., and concern what looks like the whole of the estate of Glenkindie TOW STD, including a place called Pittandreich, but which must be a mistake for Landranger Pitcandlich (Alexander 1952, Pitandlich).