St Monans Auld Kirk

As featured in Whisky Galore, the Railwayman, and a Johnny Cash Christmas Special, to name but three; St Monans Auld Kirk is probably closer to the sea than any other church in active use in Scotland, and also one of the oldest. It is so close in fact, that the waves crash against the walls of the surrounding graveyard - the coastal path that runs below its walls has an alternative route for high tides. Its links to the sea are numerous, with a boat hanging in its interior, in a village that used to build boats as well as catch fish in them.

The site has been in use as a place of Christian worship since the 9th Century. Legend has it that St Monan was a missionary serving under St Adrian at St Andrews, until he was murdered by Danish raiders. The original church was started in 1362 by King David II, who commissioned Sir William Dishington of Ardross to build it, which was done over the next decade at an estimated total cost of about 750 Scots pounds. Though T shaped, the original design would have been cruciform, and an arch in the west wall testifies that a nave was intended. It was damaged by a fire in 1544, courtesy of an English invasion, but repaired and it eventually became the St. Monans Parish Church having its first use as such on 27th December 1646.


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