black monks

black monks Inverness Graveyards of ScotlandThe original Celtic church had no organization, as the new Church of Rome gained in influence, things changed in Scotland. The medieval church saw much innovation. With the beginning of the 12th century influences from abroad began to shape its structure. The Celtic monks disappeared, the Benedictine monks gained influence. The Culdees were the last of the Celtic monks, they already had structures in place similar to those of the Roman Catholic faith which made it easy to absorb them into the regular new order. The times of the hermit cells were over.

black monks Inverness Graveyards of Scotland

Two of the new religious orders introduced into Scotland were the Dominicans and the Franciscans, both in the middle of the 13th century. The Dominicans wore black habits, therefore the Blackfriars and the Franciscans grey.

Both black monks Inverness Graveyards of Scotlandmonastic orders had houses in Inverness; they lived side by side in what is now Friar’s Street. King Robert the Bruce had granted them 10 Shillings a year, paid to the monks by the Provost, this was money earned from payments due to Inverness.

black monks Inverness Graveyards of ScotlandThe column standing in the graveyard is all that is left of the original church. The orders were established by King Alexander II. and went into decline about 200 years later. When the Reformation set an end to the orders, Mary Queen of Scots gave the building to the City of Inverness.

Less that a handful of monks were left in Inverness.

The building was demolished by Oliver Cromwells troops who, as with many other places, bought the stones for the forts that were built to appease Scotland.

black monks Inverness Graveyards of ScotlandAn effigy of a medieval knight at the back of the graveyard and the column at the entrance bear witness to the age of the site that is squeezed in tightly between office buildings. These were of course not there during the times of the monks.

They received money from Inverness and they had free access to the River Ness, where they fished.

Old High Church Inverness executed in a graveyard of Scotland


sources and further reading:

Stewart Cruden: Scottish Abbeys. An Introduction to the medieval Abbeys and Priories of Scotland. Edinburgh, Stationary Office, 1960

Inverness Friar’s Street Dominican friary



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: