Tain Places

Tain Community Collage

Abbot's Stone, Applecross
Clachan Church, Applecross
Rosemarkie Stone and Church
St Clement's Church, Dingwall
St Duthac's Church, Tain
Tarbat Church, Portmahomack

Thanks are due to Mrs Dorothy Haldane for permission to record excerpts from her late husband's book Ye His Saints.

Map showing various locations, referred to in the text, which are associated with Scotland's saints.

The Collegiate Church of St Duthac in Tain, Ross-shire, probably completed by 1460. A Collegiate Church was one where a college of priests existed who would pray in perpetuity for the soul of the founder. Such was Duthac's prestige that his birthplace in Tain quickly became an important religious centre, its boundaries marked by four sanctuary crosses. In 1253 the saint's remains were returned to Tain and the shrine became a major place of pilgrimage, attracting not only local people but also the great, including King James IV who was especially devoted to the cult of St Duthac.

St Duthac was born in Tain, Ross-shire, early in the 11th century and was educated there before going to Ireland for further study. The rest of his life was shared between the two countries. His reputation for personal sanctity grew quickly and he was said to be able to work great miracles. Many people came to seek his advice and experience his spiritual power. He is reputed to have died in Armagh in 1965. 

Tain Churches

St Duthus Collegiate Church
This church was built between 1370 and 1458 as the shrine of St Duthac. It stands near an earlier church the walls of which can still be seen. In medieval times the church was an important place of pilgrimage, its most famous visitor being James IV who came regularly from 1493 to 1513.

It was the parish church from the Reformation in 1560 until 1815, after which it became derelict until being restored in the 1870s. It now houses the town's war memorial and is part of the Tain Through Time visitor centre.
[Contributed by Estelle Quick, 16/3/99]

The Old Church of St Duthus.

The Ross-shire Journal
of 8 July 1922 reported as follows:

In the Old Church of St Duthus, a historic building dating back to the 14th century, the people of Tain and district have placed the first part of their tribute to the memory of the men who fell in the Great War. It takes the form of a massive brass tablet, seven feet high by four feet wide on a marble slab erected on the north wall of the Church. A total of 122 names is inscribed on it. The unveiling ceremony was performed by Col Sir Hector Munro of Foulis, Bart, Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty. A Guard of Honour was provided by the 4/5th Seaforth Highlanders, who were camped on the Mhorrich Mhor. Mr Alexander MacBain accepted custody of the memorial on behalf of the Tain Guildry Trust.


Detail from the 1914-1918 plaque - the figure of a scholar with a cloak, book, and stick.

Detail from the 1919-1918 plaque - the figure of a kilted soldier with a rifle.

Detail from the 1939-1945 plaque - an aircraft.

Detail from the 1939-1945 plaque - a naval vessel.

On Friday 1 July 2016, to coincide with the first day of the Battle of the Somme, a ceremony took place to open an exhibition in the Collegiate Church in association withm the Heritage Lottery funded project Put a Face to a Name.

The exhibition set out to find out more about each of the 122 men listed on the memorial, nine of whom died during the five months of the battle.

The launch was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty, Mrs Janet Bowen;  Elizabeth Fraser, chairperson of Tain and District Trust;  Danny Streames of Poppy Scotland;  Hugh Fraser, branch secretary, John Godfrey, branch chairman, John Ross and David Coe,  all representing the Royal British Legion;  and Mackenzie MacCandie who has two uncles listed on the memorial.

The exhibition was held during the month of July 2016 but anyone interested in the information displayed, or having additional information about service personnel, should contact Tain and District Museum on 01862 894089.

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