Scotland has a few round and a few octagonal churches. The thought behind both unusual forms is the same: in a building without corners, the devil has nowhere to hide. It could of course also have practical or aesthetic reasons but the old myth of the devil hiding in corners is very much alive in many places.
Tattie Kirk in Falkirk is one of them. Built in 1806 it now houses a gallery and small businesses. As a church, it was only used for 73 years. Kelso and Dundee have octagonal churches as well but still Tattie Kirk feels unique; even today not being used as a church anymore.
One of the reasons why many find Tattie Kirk intriguing might also be the name. It has been suggested that the church was used for potato storage after it went into religious disuse. Or was built on the site of a former potato field. The Scots word tattie means potato.
The church is tucked away and not easy to find. A disused graveyard at the back is fenced in and not accessible.
The church is quite possibly Falkirk’s most unusual building and it is bigger than it looks from the outside, it could seat nearly 600 people.
No dark corners for the devil to hide in.
What the people of Falkirk thought about the devil is clearly seen in the town’s motto:
Better meddle wi’ the devil, than the bairns o’ Falkirk.
It seems Falkirk would have been ready to face any devil hiding in a corner or not.