Saint Duthac Memorial Church, Old Burial Grounds and Duthac Centre

Saint Duthac Memorial Church / The Collegiate Church of St Duthac:

When you visit Tain Through Time you will see the Memorial Church. It is believed that the church was built in the 14 and/or 15th century by William the 5th Earl of Ross. it is a Historic Monument.

The Collegiate Church of Tain, dedicated to St. Duthus, is said to have been built by William, Earl of Ross, who died in 1371. In 1487, James III had it converted into a Collegiate Church. James IV and V made pilgrimages to it.

Saint Duthac Memorial Church

Saint Duthac Memorial Church

The church measures 70 feet long by 22 feet 6 inches wide internally. It contains four bays, distinguished externally by buttresses, each bay having a window. The west wall has a niche on each side of the arch of the window, the north are still containing the statue of a bishop, presumably St. Duthus. There is a doorway in the westmost bay of each side, the south door having had a large porch. From the Reformation until 1815 this was the parish church; it was then abandoned and allowed to fall into decay until 1877 when it was restored. It is now maintained for monumental and memorial purposes.

St. Duthac: Born around the year 1000, his remains were returned to the church about 200 years after he died.

St Duthac became a place of pilgrimage with King James IV amongst it’s many visitors.

The church is open to the public and there is no charge. There is plenty of information both inside and outside the church

The Collegiate Church of Tain, built in the 14th century. It is no longer in use but is maintained as a roofed building within the churchyard.

In 1815 the collegiate church was abandoned when a new parish church was built. By the 1870s it was in a sad state of decay and money was raised for its restoration, which left it much as it is today. The work was carefully planned by architect Robert Matheson, a native of Tain, to restore the building as far as possible to its original form. The beautiful stained glass windows were the work of James Ballantine of Edinburgh.

As well as being appreciated by thousands of visitors each year, the church houses the town’s war memorial and is opened every year for the Armistice Day parade. The church is also occasionally used for concerts, weddings and temporary exhibitions.The picture on the left is of the recent Pipes and Fiddles Concert and on the right of the Tain Through the War Years exhibition.

Organisation: The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

St. Duthac Old Burial Grounds

On the way to the Golf Club, just past the car park for the Links play area is the St. Duthac Old Burial Grounds. Leave your car in the car park and take some time out to see the old ruined church.

Old Burial Grounds

The Duthac Centre

This was originally the Tain Parish Church built to replace the Old Memorial Church. It was built in the early 1800’s and seated 1,200 people.

There is lots of history attached to this building and you should go for a look.

The hall is available for hire.

Further Read:
St. Duthac’s Collegiate Church & churchyard, Castle Brae, Tain (WAR MEMORIAL)
St. Duthac’s Collegiate Church & churchyard, Castle Brae, Tain (CHURCH)
St Duthus’s Collegiate Church Collegiate Church Of St Duthac at Scotland’s national collection of buildings, archaeology and industry

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