Scotland has unfortunately been neglected in these pages: this was not through any deliberate avoidance but simply through lack of material. I had several photographs from the Western Isles, Mull, Iona and Oronsay, which I had taken myself, but that was all. I had been promised several by others but these unfortunately never materialized.

   I discovered a book: a reprint of The Monumental Effigies of Scotland by Robert Brydall, which was published in 1895 and which lists and contains drawings of medieval effigies. I did not find the drawings particularly good, although they did give an idea of what these monuments look (or looked) like as well as, most importantly, where they are (or were); so initially I intended  just to provide a list. Scotland's counties are like those of Wales in that they have changed over the years and become larger, so covering a much  - sometimes considerably - larger area than the old ones used to : Highlands is a very big place indeed! And somehow the sound of those old counties - rather like the Scottish football results and the Shipping Forecast, especially when read by Charlotte Green, is a delight in itself. A similar situation has recently occurred in France where the new régions  now cover a much larger areas than did the old ones. This increased size of these administrate areas make locating the monuments, and journey planning, much more difficult so, in both cases, I have used the old style. However I found a number of images on the internet which had clearly been taken from the book described and they did look reasonable enough and using the maxim, what is the use of a website without pictures, I decided to include them. I also have a reprint of a three volume work - The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland by David MacGibbon and Thomas Ross, published in 1897 - which also includes a number of rather sketchy drawings, so I included these as well.

  There are bound to have been changes in the years since these books appeared: effigies may have  'come in from the cold' (the damaging elements, that is) and are now in the church, a nearby museum or a roofed building in a ruined abbey. There may well be several which have been missed for one reason or another and so not included. The identifications are taken from the books and I have no evidence of the accuracy of that identification, except where there is a contemporary inscription or heraldry.

   I have supplemented this collection of drawings, which have been long in the public domain by photographs from the internet. And there lies a problem: I have tried always to acknowledge the 'author' of these images and obey all the rules of 'intellectual property rights' wherever I can but, despite my efforts, if I have not always succeeded,  I apologize. So I sometimes may not have complied with the letter of the law but before taking up arms against me, please note that the site is for research and academic purposes only, I do not charge visitors to the site,  nor do I make any profit from it (rather the opposite), and the photographs that appear have been compressed and reduced in size so are of little use if copied.

  We hope to visit Scotland next year and will certainly take a number of photographs. We look forward to Haggis and Chips, Pipes and the Single Malts, and Arbroath Smokies but will forego Irn Bru and Tablet. Don't mention the midges.
Please note that this is the completion of the first stage in this very incomplete armchair survey of Scotland's church monuments. The are many gaps, especially for the post-medieval ones, and many errors; but it's a beginning. I will now work through modern works - which are not specifically about church monuments and augment and correct the information, county by county. I will also hunt for more photographs. I will then update the site at intervals when I have gleaned as much information as possible for each county.

Note that the Church of Scotland is Presbyterian, part of the Reformed Tradition within Protestantism, a church the Scots fought long and hard for. So the parish churches are Presbyterian churches and, as there are no bishops in the church hierarchy, the cathedrals are cathedrals in name only: some are now parish churches while others are ruinous or partly so. As in England abbeys and priories are such in name only: again some are parish churches while others are ruinous. It must be pointed out that there are actual cathedrals - with bishops  in Scotland: these are eight Roman Catholic cathedral and are usually modern buildings; as well as the Episcopal Church of Scotland which again has eight cathedrals.

The Counties are in Alphabetical Order

 Aberdalgie  Aberdeen   Aberdour  AbbeySt Bathans  Airth Old Church*  Alberdalgie  Arbroath AbbeyArbuthnot  Ardie* Balerino AbbeyBannf Beauly Priory* Borthwick   Bourtie  Cambuskenneth Abbey* Castle Semple  Creich  Coupar Abbey  Cupar  Cullen     Douglas  Dunblane Cathedral  Dundrennan Abbey*  Dunfermline Abbey Dunkeld Cathedral 
Elgin Cathedral
* Ellon  Falkirk Old Church Fearn Abbey Fortrose Cathedral*  Glascow: St Mungo's Cathedral   Houston  Inchmahome Priory* Kilmaurs  Kinoull  Kinfauns* Lincluden College  Lindores Abbey*
 Maryton  Mortlach (Muthill Old Church)Mouswald*
 Old Aberdeen  Old Kilpatrick  Paisley Abbey  Renfrew Old Church  RothsayRuthven Old Church* Sanquhar  Selkirk    Swinton  Weem

KEY: * In ruins, or partly so; often under care of Historic Scotland. May be entrance fee in latter cases.  (___) No images.  † Uncertain information, needs revision.   ‡ May not be accessible

Note that the Western Isles are in three separate counties in the old system and two in the new; for the purposes here it is more rational for them to be grouped under the 'Western Isles'.


St Nicholas, Aberdeen

Gilbert Menzies of Pitfoddles and his wife, Marjory Liddel. (15th century) This effigies are reported by Robert Brydall to have been in the churchyard of Marycultur church where they were once underneath an arch. They were moved to Aberdeen in the later 19th century and now lie on adjacent window sills. They condition look remarkable good to have been removed from a churchyard so the arch must have been very effective
The photographs are from 'Doric Columns' website
Above: Alexander Irvine of Drum ; his wife, Elizabeth de Keith is also supposed to be here; I will seek this further.
He was one of the commissioners would travelled to England to plead for the release of  King James I and bring him back to Scotland. This is supposed to be his effigy.

 John Collison and his wife, Margaret Setoun. He was provost* in 1521. 

There appears to be considerable doubt  about the indentity of these effigies. I  will research further

A provost is equivalent to what would be called in England The Lord Mayor

Old Aberdeen - St Machar's Cathedral
Only the nave survives in its entirety; it is used as the parish church

Bishop Leighton Bishop Gavin Dunbar (right) Unknown ldft
Bishop Patrick Scougal (1685) Archdeacon Barbour (1396) unlikely

Aberdour Ellon

Bourtie Parish Church
A late 13th or early 14th century knight/lady pair of effigies, formerly, as may be deduced by their condition, in the churchyard but brought in the late 19th century into the church. Robert Brydall writes 'hardly worth preserving': hardly an attitude to disseminate!

From the website: 'Battle of Bana'
Ruthven Old Church
The church is in ruins
Thomas Gordon of Ruthen, locally known as 'Tam O' Ruthven. Note the mamélieres, metal structures attached to the breast plate with a small protruding ring to which a chain was attached; the other end of the chain held the sword, dagger, helm etc. One is shield shaped, the other an ornamented disc. The chains have long since worn away.
photograph by  Susan Lynne Schwenger


William, 9th Earl of Glencairn. The monument was erected in 1660, although he died in 1664 and was buried in St Giles, Edinburgh


A Tale of Fraud
Duff House Mausoleum, Banff

  In the Mausoleum of Duff House are - or were - a series of monuments to the Duff family dating back to medieval times, so far, in fact, none the none less than that of King Robert Bruce himself, although he was actually buried at Dunfermline, might be seen there; and the earliest of the Duff family monument in the Mausoleum was that of Alexander Duff of Braco, who had died in 1705, and that had been moved from Braco churchyard in 1793. As had that of the 1st Earl.

   Duff House was built between 1735 and 1740 by Adam for William Duff of Braco and the mausoleum, a neo -gothic construction, for the 2nd Earl in 1793.

   This fraud was finally confirmed by Aberdeenshire Council and Historic Scotland in the late 1990's.

   The monuments had been appropriated from elsewhere by the 2nd Earl in order to pass them off as his ancestors and so 'prove' his descent from the medieval Earls of Duff.

   King Robert's monument was shown to be that of a 17th century sheriff. That shown was of a Duff of Muldavit and had been moved from Cullen Old Kirk and recut to show the date of 1404; it was returned in 1965. I understand that most of the monuments are still in the building.

   The mausoleum is closed to the public but the Friends of Duff house open it in September each year.

   See also Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

Cullen Church   Mortlach
St Moloc's (Mulugg's)
Alexander Ogilvie (155_)
Latin inscription
  Alexander Leslie (c. 1549)


Abbey St Bathand   Swinton
Parish Church
The parish church occupies the site of the old nunnery  
Sir Alan Swinton (c.1200)

A prioress


St Mary's Chapel, Rothsay, Isle of Bute
 Top row: left & centre: Unidentified lady. Is she holding and child on her left arm? Right: A Stewart of Bute, late 14th century. Said to be either John Stewart, Sheriff of Bute (1449), an illegitimate son of Robert II or Robert, High (1327/8) who married Marjorie Bruce and was father of Robert II. This is also shown  detail on the bottom row, right.
  Bottom row: left & centre:
Unidentified and very worn; note the hunting horn. In the background can be seen the weepers form the lady's monument: see above right
  Photographs by David Ross
Below and right are drawings of two of the above monuments


Old Kilpatrick Church
Near Bowling
Unknown knight
Holds heart, angels hold pillow
In churchyard


Sanquhar Church Mouswald Old Parish Church
                                                     The church ceased being used for worship in 2014. Mouswald is Norwegian for Mossy Field
Effigy of an ecclesiastic. It is interesting to note that the effigy was removed from the old church during its demolition but later reinstated Sir Simon Carruthers, his lady's effigy by is side is greatly worn

This county is to be found here

This county is to be found here

This county is to be found here

This county is to be found here


Beauly Priory
Beauly Priory is ruinous and under care of Historic Scotland

Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Kintail (1481)

Arms and Latin inscription, although I can't see it in these images!


Arbuthnot Church.
 Hugo de Arbuthnot (late C13)  Note the arms which can be more clearly seen in the drawing


Dundrennan Abbey
Ruinous: now under the care of Historic Scotland

Top right: Patrick Douglas (1480) Monk and cellarer. Very low relief; Latin inscription
Top left:
Unknown nun (1440) Latin inscription. Incised slab
Above: Alan, Lord of Galloway (early C13)
By © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0,
 Unknown Abbot. The item carved just to the left of his right hand looks remarkably like a dagger, but surely must represent a cross.
By Hopmans at nl.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,
I believe that this monument in in the castle rather than the church, but I cannot confirm this at the moment. The castle is partly ruinous and in the care of Historic Scotland

Lincluden College

Margaret, Countess of Douglas


St Bride's Church, Douglas

'Good' Sir James Douglas (1330) Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas (1438/9)      
Author: Otter.   Licensed (photographs)
Marjory Abernethy (1245-1270)?
Wife of Hugh Douglas,
Son of Sir William Douglas
James 'the Gross' 7th Earl of Douglas and his wife, Beatrix (Sinclair)  

Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas (1438/9) 'Good' Sir James Douglas (1330) James 'the Gross' 7th Earl of Douglas and his wife, Beatrix (Sinclair)  

Marjory Abernethy (1245-1270)?
Wife of Hugh Douglas,
Son of Sir William Douglas

Bothwell - St Bride's Collegiate Church
There are several post medieval monuments in the church but I do not have a record

Glascow - St Mungo's Cathedral
(now a parish church)

Above: Unknown medieval bishop
Centre left: Not yet defined
Centre: Not yet defined, outside
Centre right and far right: Barons of the House of Mynto. Monument and detail. This monument has one of the few brasses in Scotland

This county is to be found here

(also known as Edinburghshire)
This county is to be found here


Elgin Cathedral
Elgin Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Cathedral. It is ruinous and under the care of Historic Scotland

Top row: 1. Three fragmentary effigies. 2a. Said to be Robert Innes of Innesmarkie or Innermarkie . The effigy is too small for its recess. There are two shields of arms, which cannot be seen from the photograph.  2b A Stewart (Alexander, Duke of Albany), 2nd son of James II. Inscription and fragmentary heraldry. The latter two monuments are in south wall of the south transept. The fragmentary effigies may include that of  Bishop Columba Dunbar (1422-35), Sir Alexander Dunbar of Westfield (1497), and -possibly - Bishop John Innes (1407-14)
Bottom row: 1 & 2. Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly (1470).  Latin epitaph
Right: Unknown bishop or abbot
Above: William de la Hay (1421) Latin epitaph. Three shields of arms said to be on the breast. Near entrance to Lady Chapel.

Right: Bishop John of Winchester (1460) In the south aisle three bays remain vaulted, this area being known as The Lady Chapel. The monument to Bishop John is in the wall next to the choir. There is another monument to a bishop in this same wall; this may be the one  shown top right but I cannot confirm this at the moment.
There is a further effigy in the passage between choir and north aisle, but the type is (or cannot be identified)
There is another reference to a monument in the north wall of the choir but no further details are given.

The photographs of John of Winchester and Alexander Gordon (2) are by Calagus.  Licensed


Aberdalgie Church Priory Church of Inchmahome, Menteith
The church  is on an Inchmahome Island, the largest of three islands at the centre of  the Lake of Menteith, 15 miles from Sterling. It is mostly in ruins but much remains. The effigies are situated in the former chapter house, which is roofed. The buildings are under the care of Historic Scotland and are scheduled as an Ancient Monument. It may be visited by a boat operated by Historic Scotland between March and September, which departs from the pier at Port Menteith.  

Sir William Oliphant (1329)
Very worn.Was in church yard but now inside on a modern tomb chest, under a modern arch. Very low relief, black marble, Latin inscription

Above left and Right top:
Walter Bailloch ('freckled') Stewart , Earl of Menteith (1225/1230-1293-1294), and Countess Mary (c. 1286).
Mary held the title in her own right and Walter became earl in right of his wife

Right bottom: said to be Sir John of Menteith (1275-1329) , son of Walter and Mary
By bubobubo 2; under licence

Coupar Abbey
Little of nothing remains of the abbey: the parish church was built on the site of the abbey church
Some of these monuments were excavated among the remains

  Above: Panels of tomb chest; said to be the of Hays of Errol This effigy, said to be built into the church yard wall at Erroll is said to be fo the 8th Earl of Erroll
May be from the Abbey

Dunblane Cathedral
Now a parish church

Above Left: Bishop Finlay Dermot or Clement? Above Right: Bishop Michael Ochiltree?  I have not found a reasonable photograph of this monument.
Below left & right:  
Malise, 8th Earl of Streathearn (1271), and his Countess. The drawing gives a better representation of the lady

Dunkeld Cathedral
Now a parish church

Left bottom: Bishop Sinclair

Author: Otter.   Licensed

Above: Bishop Robert Cardeny (1420)

Above and left top:
Alexander Stewart, 5th Earl of Buchan (1405) Called 'The Wolf of Badenoch'

The above two photographs from Lilli Vella on pinterest who acknowledges Photographs take for RCHAM (Scotland)

Above: 'The Wolf of Badenoch
Near right: Bishop Cardeny
Mid right: Monument in the chapter house.
Far right: Grave slab

Kinfauns Church Kinnoull Weem  
The arched recess may have been an Easter Sepulchre; it was only discovered after the church fell into decay. In front is a tomb slab George, 1st Earl of Kinnoull. Erected 1635 Erected 1616 by Sir Alexander Menzies in memory of his two wives and maternal ancestors beginning with his great great grandmother. Their names are on the monuments but not recorded. Ont wife was Margaret (Campbell)  

The Old Church
Muthill Old Church is ruinous apart from the tower; a new church was built in 1826-8. The Old Church is under the care of Historic Scotland

There are several monuments from the Old Church which are now kept for their protection in the ground floor of the tower. One is a Kn/L effigy, thought to be that of Sir Maurice Drummond of Kincraig (1362) and his wife, Ada. As is the general case in Scotland, the knight's legs are not crossed. It is in a very worn condition. I do not have any satisfactory images.

I have not information about the other monuments.

Paisley Abbey

Above left (top and bottom) and above right top: Said to be Marjorie Bruce, daughter of King Robert Bruce. Robert Brydall comments on the hair as 'clumsy locks' and speculated that they may be as restoration by a local mason. He also mentions that there is a gablette over the head but, although he provides a drawing of this, the structure has clearly been removed. He also notes that the tomb chest was provided recently by a local minister who included various fragments found free in the church. The identification is local and popular but not proven. The gablette in situ in shown in the drawing top right.
Above right bottom:
Victorian monument over the remains of King Robert III who was buried in the Abbey. His original monument was lost

Top right image: By Stephencdickson - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


Houston Parish Church
Sir Patrick Houston (1450) and his wife, Agnes Campbell (1456)
There is no original tomb chest remaining and the effigies now lie in a recess cut for them. The effigies have been recut.

Origin of photographs above: RCAHMS
Photograper: Mrs Zoe Ballentine

Renfrew Old Parish Church
High Street

Left, above and right: Sir John Ross and Marjory (Muir). The above sketch shows a pointed arch, but we do get a glipse of Marjory. Thedrawing to the left shows a round arch with a Latin inscription which indicates to monument is that of John Ross of Hawkehede  (Halkhead) and Marjory, his wife.

Castle Semple Collegiate Church
John Lord Sempil & Lady Margaret Sempil
Early 16th century Latin inscription
Gabriel Semple (1587)


Fortrose Cathedral
The cathedral is in a ruinous state
Bishop Fraser Unkown bishops - fragments
By Rob Farrow   Licensed

Fearn Abbey        
Partly Ruinous        


Sandstone slab with inscription; the word Aikwood can be made out. Said to be one of the Scots of that place.


Old and St Modan Parish Church
Falkirk Trinity Church

  Robert Brydall refers to a modern notice placed by these effigies: 'The effigies, believed to be memorials of the earliest feudal lords of Callender, originally lay at the South Transept of the church. In 1810 when the church was rebuilt, that transept being taken down, these figures remained exposed to the weather and the injury from the feet of  passengers, until April 1852 when they were placed on this monument by William Forbes, who, as proprietor of the Estates of Callender, felt himself called on to protect from further injury these memorials of former Barons.' and continues 'They were placed in the vestibule of the church but further alterations in 1892-93 necessitated their removal again to be placed in a crypt under better light.'
  This explains their very worn condition, especially as they were presumably resting on the ground without a tomb chest or other support. Robert Rydall writing in 1895 presumably found them in the crypt and the two small photographs, taken in the early 20th century show them this lying on modern tomb chests. These latter have now gone and they are now displayed standing upright elsewhere in the church.
  The armour and dress of the couple on the left look early 17th century while that of those on the right look mid 15th century. So not the earliest feudal lords and their ladies.

Airth Old Church
The old church is in a ruinous state and in the care of Historic Scotland; access is restricted for reasons of safety. There is also a new church at Airth but the effigy remains here.

This interesting but badly worn effigy in under an arch in a wall of the Old Church.

Photograph from the website: 'Corpus of Scottish Medieval Churches
Cambuskenneth Abbey
The abbey is in a ruinous state with little remaining except for an intect bell tower; it is under the care of Historic Scotland
Victorian monument to James III  who were buried before the high altar; their remains were discovered on excavation and buried below this table tomb.



Rowdil - Priory Church of St Clement
Church still in use

Left and above top: South wall of choir:  Latin inscription. Tomb and details of effigy. Alexander MacCleod of Dunvegan (1528)
South wall of nave: There is a similar but simpler monument with military effigy in a corresponding position to that above but on the opposite (west) side of the opening into the south transept. There is no illustration.

Above bottom:
South transept: This brief sketch shows an effigy in poor condition: that in the nave is said to be similar but better preserved.

Iona Mull Oronsay
These islands have been dealt with in their own section
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