ancient fragments in the walls

Abercrombie Chapel

This place is beautiful, serene and not easy to find. There is a field to cross to get there. You’ll feel the ancient magic of this graveyard once you open the gate. The ruin of the chapel itself remains locked, though.

Video The chapel of Abercrombie

The chapel of Abercrombie

The chapel of Abercrombie was granted to Dunfermline Abbey by William the Lion in 1165. It was dedicated in 1247. (D H Fleming 1886)

There are five sculptured stones, showing Celtic ornament, in the walls of Abercrombie Church. (J Stuart 1856; J R Allen and J Anderson 1903.)

Fragments of early tombstones are built into its jambs. There are also several late medieval stones outside the church. (

Who was St Monan?

St Monan, in whose honour the church of Abercromby was named St Monans, was one of the companions of Adrian, and his relics were supposed to rest at Invery, until transferred by David the church which afterwards bore his name; though Mr Skene prefers to identify him with Moinen, an Irish bishop of Clonfert, whose relics may have been brought over from the great monastery founded by St Brendan, the navigator, on the banks of the Shannon, to save them from the Danish raiders. St Fillan, an Irish saint of the eighth century, whose name is chiefly associated with the parish on Lochearnside, where he left his crosier enclosed in the quigrach now in the Antiquarian Museum, and his bell, also left traces of his footsteps in the cave at Pittenweem called after him; and the parish of Forgan was originally dedicated to St Fillan.

(John M. Leighton: The History of the County of Fife. Glasgow, Swan, 1840)

historical note on Abercrombie

Until 1646, the parish was known as Abercrombie. In that year Sir James Sandilands of Newark (cf. NO50SW 17) acquired the estate of Abercrombie, while Newark was in the neighbouring parish of Kilconquhar. He secured the annexation of Newark to the parish of Abercrombie, and this had the effect of bringing the church of St. Monans into the latter parish. The Act of Parliament effecting the disjunction is of 1649 (cf. further NO50SW 18). The parish was then styled “Abercrombie with St. Monance,” but in course of time the name was reduced to its present form, while the church of Abercrombie was abandoned and allowed “to go into ruin”.

(RCAHMS 1933 Stat. Acct., ix, pp. 334-5. Wood’s East Neuk of Fife, p. 254.)

Liked the read? There’s more here…

The stories of this book have been discovered and gathered for my blog, Graveyards of Scotland, over many years. Find treasure all over Scotland with my latest book. I am Nellie Merthe Erkenbach, journalist and author.The fairy hill in Inverness, a nitrate murder on Shetland, a family of left-handers, wolves, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace shown in a new light, the secret bay of the writer Gavin Maxwell, a murdering poet and so many things you didn’t know about Scotland, its clans and its history.

My main sources were historical travel guides from the 18th and 19th centuries, where the finds were scary, beautiful, funny, and sometimes, cruel. 

This unusual approach to a country’s history has produced amazing results. You don’t have to share my passion for cemeteries to enjoy this book; only a small number of the stories in this collection take place in graveyards, though they do all end in them, so perhaps it helps. 

Scotland for Quiet Moments is available @Amazon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


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