Dingwall Places

Dingwall Community Collage

Castle Street Church of Scotland

St Clement's Church of Scotland

The Free Church of Scotland

The Free Presbyterian Church.

The Scottish Episcopal Church

St Lawrence's Roman Catholic Church

An early photo of St Lawrence's Church.

Dingwall Churches

Castle Street Church of Scotland

The Castle Street Church of Scotland is situated in Castle Street opposite the National Hotel.  Built in 1909 as the United Free Church (a result of the Union of Free and United Presbyterian Churches in 1900), the architect was William Mackintosh. The Free Church won right to property and assets of the pre1900 Free Church. A congregation of around 300 (members and adherents) meets twice on Sundays for worship, with a weekly Prayer Meeting/Bible Study and Coffee Morning. Internally the church is finished in pitch pine. The west stained glass window was inserted in 1926 as a memorial to Provost Crawford. The organ, by Messrs. Foster and Andrews, was installed in 1991 but was built in 1895 for Blackadder Church, North Berwick. New Hall suite built at rear was opened and dedicated in 1991.

Castle Street Church Centenary     Click to view

Castle Street Church dry rot work        Click to view

St Clement's Church of Scotland

This, the parish church of Dingwall, was completed in 1803, the previous building having fallen into a state "unworthy of repair." The plan was drawn by Davidson of Tulloch, the landowner, and executed by George Burn of Haddington and is characterised by having the entrance steeple at the back facing the town's Tulloch Castle. The south wall with four large Gothic windows provide light. Internally, the pulpit is in the middle of the south wall and a gallery encircles the pulpit on three sides a design very suited to the Scottish Presbyterian service.

Ref.: "St Clements looks back " by D. D. (David) MacDonald, 1976

Ye His Saints by Allan Haldane, published 2004     Click to view

The Free Church of Scotland

The Free Church is situated opposite the railway station. Built in 1870 to replace the old Free Church in Castle Street. The architect was John Rhind, and the church is built in French Gothic style, although the octagonal dome on the spire is extremely uncommon in Gothic buildings. The church will seat 1,000 people comfortably, and was opened by the famous London preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a good friend of the first minister, the well-known Rev. John Kennedy. The building has long been admired for its beautiful interior, and particularly for its magnificent 16 foot high, stained glass 'rose window'. A new hall was built at the rear in 1987. The congregational list includes around 180 homes, and services are held twice on Sunday with a weekly Prayer Meeting and Bible Study, as well as other meetings designed for the different age groups in the congregation.

The Free Presbyterian Church 

The Free Presbyterian Church is situated in Hill Street.  Built in 1959, the architect was J. Lyon of Matheson and Mackenzie. It is a harled buttress box with rubble gable, it replaced the original 1904 church (now Kirkholm) in Greenhill Street. The interior of the church is deliberately austere in keeping with the early reformed church tradition. Seating capacity - 350.

The Scottish Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church is situated in Castle street. The Episcopalians have worshipped in the town since the Sixteenth Century, first at St. Clements and later in private houses until the first chapel was built in Castle Street in 1806. The present building, with a capacity of 128, is the fourth to be built on the site. Erected in 1871 it is of simple and sturdy gothic design, consisting of a three-bay nave with lower one-bay nave. There are stained glass windows on four walls. An organ was installed in 1872 and there is a small choir. The parish stretches from the Black Isle to Achnasheen. The Davidson Mausoleum (to the right of the church) has been located elsewhere, the hall behind the mausoleum was demolished and a new hall erected in 2005.

St. Lawrence's Roman Catholic Church

Opened 1902. The architect was William C. Jones. It was built in plain Gothic style. Above the altar there are three stained glass windows by Dom Ninian Sloane O.S.B., of Pluscarden Abbey. The Church has been refurbished.  Masses (2000) Sun 10a.m., V.M. Sat. 7.30p.m.  Also served from Dingwall - Gairloch (Community Centre).

Cille Bhrea Chapel, Lemlair, Dingwall.  [NH. 576614 - Nat. grid ref.]

The information given below, and the associated photograph, is taken from notes provided by AOC Archaeology Group, with additional details by the unknown "T.W."

Cille Bhrea, on the north shore of the Cromarty Firth, was established by 1228 as the parish church of Lemlair and continued in use until the early 17th century. A cross inscribed slab was recovered from the foreshore and, although of uncertain date, it may suggest an earlier origin for the Christian use of the site. During the life of this parish church it became famous as the first place in Easter Ross where the Reformed Doctrine was preached by Dr. Munro of Castlecraig, who crossed the Cromarty Firth to do so. After the abandonment of the chapel in the early 17th century, the graveyard was used intermittently during the 18th and 19th centuries, with the most recent burials being from a cholera outbreak in 1836.

During the 1990s Historic Scotland, who scheduled the monument in 1970, became increasingly concerned by the erosion of the site by the firth. This process was steadily removing the east end of the chapel and exposing human skeletal material, from the graveyard on the foreshore. Historic Scotland decided that a programme of managed retreat was appropriate and commissioned AOC Archaeology to undertake the excavation of the elements of this medieval church and graveyard, which were at risk from erosion over the next couple of decades.

The fieldwork, in August 1998, examined a strip along the erosion edge, excavating 50 graves. These graves were nearly all orientated east-west and 21 contained skeletal material, in varying states of preservation. Some graves also contained coffin nails, with attached mineralised wood fragments, and shroud pins. The walls of the church were also exposed and recorded, and the interior of the church investigated. Post-excavation analyses are proceeding to determine the time range through which the church and the graveyard were used and to clarify the characteristics of the population buried there. In accordance with Historic Scotland policy the human skeletal material, after analysis, will be buried in the graveyard, away from the erosion edge.

Additional notes (by "T.W."

The ruins of the old parish church of Lemlair are situated close to the North side of the Cromarty Firth, some 21/2 miles North-East of Dingwall and measure 10.8 x 4.4 metres. The West gable stands about one metre high. First recorded in 1227, the church is reputed to be the first in the Highlands where the Protestant doctrine was preached after the Reformation in 1563. The incumbent, Henry Kincaid, did not conform to Protestantism and the Charge was held in conjunction by the Commissioners, Donald Munro, and Kincaid. Lemlair was joined to Kiltearn in 1618, whereupon Lemlair Church was abandoned, though burials continued in the kirkyard for many years. 


Photograph courtesy of St Clements Church.  Original by F W Urquhart.
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