Churches in Fowlis, Liff, Lundie, Muirhead

Lundie Kirk

Details of the history of Lundie Kirk were compiled by Bill and Heather Meikle in 2008 and are drawn from various sources.

From remains of Norman work found in the foundations and west wall it is evident that the original building dates back at least to the 12th century.

The narrow window in the north wall, known as the ‘Leper Window’ may date back to this time.

Mention of Lundie Kirk has been found dating back to the reign of William the Lion (King of Scots 1165-1214).

During this time Thomas Durward gave part of the Baronry of Lundie together with the parish church to the monks of Coupar Angus.

It has been suggested that the Kirk was a resting place for monks travelling between St. Andrews and Coupar Angus.

In the 13th Century alterations were made. The kirk belonged to the diocese of St. Andrews and was dedicated to St. Lawrence the martyr. It is believed that a St. Lawrence fair was held in the clachan of Lundie each August.

In 1618 Lundie Kirk was united with Fowlis, apparently the earliest union within the Church of Scotland and the manse was built at Lundie.

Most of the parish was part of one estate (Lundie Estate) owned by the Duncan family who bought it from the Argyles in 1660.

In 1786 the apse, which had been at the east end was removed, a gallery was erected at the west end, the pulpit placed on the south wall and the belfry on the east gable.

In 1789, Lady Mary Tufton had the mausoleum built to honour her late husband, Sir William Duncan, who had been physician to King George II. She was also later interred there.

The most famous of the Duncans was Adam Duncan, who rose to Admiral of the White Squadron and famously won the Battle of Camperdown against the Dutch Navy. The ship’s bell from the Vrijheid (Vice-admiral de Winter’s flag ship) was used to “summon the congregation to worship at Lundie” for many decades.

In recognition of his victory he was awarded the title of Viscount of Camperdown and Baron Duncan of Lundie.

After retiring from the Navy Admiral Duncan ran the estates at Lundie and Gleneagles. On 7th December 1800 he was ordained as an elder in Lundie Kirk.

On the 4th August 1804, on the way home from London, he died suddenly in his sleep at Cornhill near Coldstream in the borders and is buried in the family burial ground at the east end of the kirk.

In 1892 there were major renovations made to the kirk. Occupants of the mausoleum were removed and interred in the Duncan burial ground. The mausoleum was then converted into the vestry. A porch was built over the west door, the belfry was returned to the east gable and the small cross to the west. The interior of the kirk was completely lined with pitch pine and the old high backed pews replaced with new ones also of pitch pine described as “commodious and comfortable”. A new pulpit was repositioned in the south east corner and the biblical texts on the wall behind the communion table date from around this time.

What happened to the Vrijheid ship’s bell is a puzzle as the present bell is inscribed Michael Burgerhuys 1617. This is a very early example of his work. Michael Burgerhuys was a 17th century bell maker in Holland and several of his bells can be found in other parish churches in Angus and beyond. A bell cast by his son Jan Burgerhuys can be found in Liff Kirk.

In 1894 the stained glass window depicting St. Johannes was installed in memory of George Hunter, farmer at East Keith, his wife, four sons and three daughters.

The historic union between Lundie and Fowlis was dissolved by act of General Assembly in 1953. Fowlis then joined with Liff and Lundie joined with Muirhead under the ministry of John R Lester whose memorial can be seen in the Leper window. Lundie and Muirhead Church is now linked with Fowlis and Liff Church.

In 1958 electric light and heating were installed and the pulpit moved to its present position.

The sculpture opposite the Leper window represents the Tree of Life and was designed and made by Jeff Imrie, a regular worshipper at Lundie.

In 2008 the appliqué and embroidered pulpit falls were made and presented to the kirk by the Ladies of Lundie Women’s Rural Institute (WRI).

Copyright 2011 Home | contact us
Fowlis and Liff Parish Church of Scotland Scottish charity No 002792,Lundie and Muirhead Parish Church of Scotland Scottish charity No 001085