Abernethy Old Kirk
The Abernethy Old Kirk Association (AOKA) was formed in 2009 when the Church of Scotland Trustees no longer required the building for their purposes. A group of local people got together to save the historic building for the future use of the Nethy Bridge and wider communities. As a result, the building can still be used for weddings and for funerals which can be either Christian or Humanist.
Our neighbour, medieval Castle Roy has a wonderful area suitable for marquees so it is now possible to hold weddings in the Old Kirk and the reception right next door at Castle Roy with views out across the Old Kirk to the high Cairngorm Mountain tops. We also have a wedding arrangement with the Nethy Bridge Hotel, another ideal place for your reception after the ceremony at the Old Kirk.
If you are walking the Speyside Way or exploring the Nethy Bridge footpath network then why not arrange tea coffee and cakes at the Old Kirk? – rest your feet and raise a little for our funds. Simply get in touch by phone or email a few days ahead.
The Old Kirk has a plan of the Kirk-Yard with details of all the graves so if you are researching your family tree we might just have some information useful to you. And we are always pleased to receive any other anecdotes, photographs or memorabilia which we can add to the archive.
History of The Old Kirk
History of the Old Kirk (details taken from the booklet “The History of Abernethy Old Kirk” by Dr Jean Munro)
Origins: probably originally a Pictish site
It is thought Christianity came to the area in the 6th century, brought by St Columba and there is an old carved stone by the front door of the Kirk which may be a font from that time.
Earliest record: this is a Latin document from 1187-1203.
Reformation: in 1560 all parishes were ordered by Parliament to have a kirk large enough to hold two-thirds of the population over 18. Timothy Pont’s map shows the Kirk of Abyrnethy.
1724-1750 – The church had fallen into a poor state and each ‘gentleman and tenant should repair the holes above his own pew’
1765 – John Grant became minister.
1767 – James Grant the younger, the main landowner in the parish engaged Alexander Cuie from Keith as mason and Alexander Haston as joiner and the present building at 64ft long and 24 foot wide, 12ft high was built at a cost of £90.
1873 – 10 years after becoming minister, Dr William Forsyth oversaw a major overhaul of the building. The architect was Alexander M MacKenzie from Elgin. Pews were added and a stove installed due to the ‘severity of the climate and distance people had to walk to church’ The cost was £762:10:5 1/2d
2009 – The Church of Scotland Trustees indicated that the building was no longer required and was to be sold off
2009 – Abernethy Old Kirk Association (AOKA) was formed by local interested people
2010 – AOKA became a private company limited by guarantee and a registered Charity
2011 – The Church of Scotland sold the Old Kirk to AOKA for £1,000
2012 – 2013 External renovation work was carried out with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund; a Cairngorm National Park Leader Grant; Awards for All and the Ward Discretionary Budget
The Abernethy Old Kirk Association
Nethy Bridge, Inverness-shire
A Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registered Charity number 41557
Nethy Bridge Community Centre
We are grateful to the listed businesses and organisations, without which it would not be possible to run a community website.
A charitable company limited by guarantee
Registered charity number: SC 012389
Company registration number: SC 379387